Since the 1950s, nearly every aspect of life has undergone dramatic changes. Cell phones, the internet, social media, modern music, and pop culture are all unrecognizable compared to how things were 70 years ago. One thing has remained static, though: the reign of Queen Elizabeth II.
Her Majesty is the world’s longest-reigning living monarch, a milestone that is sure to stand for some time, given her youth at the time of her coronation and her present-day good health.
However, everyone knows that nothing lasts forever. Someday, the Queen will pass away, and Britain will be deeply saddened by her loss. Experts agree that it will be a traumatic day for the country. The Queen is a popular figure among most citizens of the UK, and her influence over culture is felt daily. But the world continues to turn, even if one person is no longer with us. What happens after Queen Elizabeth is gone?
Elizabeth’s passing will be immediately followed by some behind-the-scenes moves at Buckingham Palace. A series of actions called “Operation London Bridge” will be put into motion, beginning with the Queen’s private secretary announcing to the Prime Minister that the Queen has passed. Then, the other 15 countries where the Queen is head of state will be notified, as will the remaining Commonwealth countries.
A press notice will be sent out after Palace guards don black armbands to mark the sad occasion. On-air reporters will be instructed to wear black suits and ties, and TV and radio programming will switch to coverage of the news immediately. Major news networks have ready-made segments already created for the situation, which celebrate the Queen’s life and legacy.
The next person in line for the throne is the Queen’s eldest son, Prince Charles. One day after the Queen’s passing, Charles will be officially named king. He’ll be able to pick out his own royal name and is widely expected to choose “King Charles III”. All of the formalities relating to this process will take place at St. James’s Palace.
Next in the line of succession will be Prince William, the oldest son of Charles and his late ex-wife, Diana.
The royal funeral would most likely take place ten days after the Queen’s passing. She is expected to lie in state in Westminster Hall for a number of days before the funeral so that people can visit and pay their respects. The funeral will almost assuredly be attended by heads of state from all over the world, and is likely to be a dark day in British history.