For as long as most people can remember, Elizabeth II has been the queen of England. She became Queen on February 6, 1952, after the death of King George VI. (Although her coronation was not held until June 2, 1953.)
The Guardianrecently released an article explaining in great detail what will happen when the Queen passes away. The first to know the news would be members of her family. After that, the news would go to her private secretary, Sir Christopher Geidt.
Geidt would then alert Britain's Prime Minister, currently Theresa May. Civil servants will break the news by using the code "London Bridge is down." Word will then be delivered to the 15 other countries across the world where the queen is also considered the head of state, and to 36 Commonwealths where the queen is a symbolic figurehead.
Commercial radio stations would start to get the news through a network of blue "obit lights." When these lights start flashing at the station, DJs would know that they will soon need to switch to news. In the meantime, they will be instructed to play mood-appropriate music before the announcement is made.
The TV channels BBC 1, 2, and 4 will be interrupted and go silent before any announcement is made. On the radio, Radio 4 and 5 will also be interrupted. Instead, listeners will hear the words, "This is the BBC from London."
Presenters at the BBC will then go on TV and radio to announce the news. Knight said that when King George VI died, the presenter began with the words, "It is with the greatest sorrow that we make the following announcement." The wording will likely be similar for Queen Elizabeth II.
The funeral would take place nine days after the queen's death. It will take place at The Abbey, with 2,000 guests in attendance. When her coffin reaches The Abbey, "the country will fall silent. The clatter will still. Train stations will cease announcements. Buses will stop and drivers will get out at the side of the road."
The funeral will start when the archbishop begins speaking. Then pallbearers will place the coffin "on the green gun carriage that was used for the Queen’s father, and his father and his father’s father." The carriage will then be pulled by 138 Royal Navy sailors.
A hearse will then take the coffin to St. George's Chapel of Windsor Castle. The broadcasting of the service will end, and she will be laid to rest. "The lift to the royal vault will descend," said Knight, "and King Charles will drop a handful of red earth from a silver bowl."