London Bridge is down….
Operation London Bridge
That is the code for conveying the death of the Queen and initiating Operation London Bridge which details the secret plan of how the Queen’s death is handled and presented to the world, from funeral procession, burial, right down to the dress code for the BBC anchors prior to making the formal announcement from the Royal Family.
By late afternoon on the 8th of September 2022, a couple of trigger events such as cancellation of the change of guard, members of the Royal family convening at the Balmoral, the BBC website going black and finally BBC newscasters attired in black, fuelled speculation that London Bridge had fallen.
Operation London Bridge was created in 1960 and has been adapted as necessary over time. Part of the decisions were made by the queen herself while others were left to be instituted by her successor. The queen died at Balmoral in Scotland, and there is a provisional plan of action for that code-named Operation Unicorn which details how that will be carried.
The name ‘Operation Unicorn’ was chosen because unicorn represents the national animal of Scotland and forms part of the royal coat of arms, along with the lion of England. As per Operation Unicorn, Queen Elizabeth II’s body will be brought from Scotland to Buckingham Palace in London within the first week of her death, and later, it will be moved from Balmoral to Holyroodhouse, her residence in the Scottish capital of Edinburgh, to lie in rest for a short time.
I had to take a moment to be awed and slightly freaked out at having such detailed and precise arrangements. Where I am from, you talk of a funeral policy and maybe a will and that’s about as far along that conversation you can have, without people thinking you are wishing death upon yourself. As for actual funeral programe, we usually figure those out on the fly.. -everyone will constantly be asking “Hurongwa hwakamira sei?” meaning how do the arrangements stand?
Royalty is different. It’s a well-oiled machine with a velvet mask that hides the iron resolution beneath. While researching on the various death protocol of the Royal Family I found a rather grim article on how King George V’s doctor, Lord Dawson injected the king with 750mg of morphine and a gram of cocaine – enough to kill him twice over – in order to ease the monarch’s suffering, and to have him expire in time for the printing presses of the Times, which rolled out at midnight.
Queen Elizabeth Legacy
With a reign spanning 7 decades, the death of the queen is obviously going to cause a lot of ripples and a change of era. There are people who will be sad to see her go, like losing a mother or a doting grandmother and others for whom her death did not come soon enough, those who would dance on her grave and that of any members of the royal family. Queen Elizabeth the longest serving monarch leaves a complicated legacy, which has slavery, colonialism and even genocide on its plate— and as symbol of the crown, things were done in her name and for her even, which will make it hard to separate her personally from the empire…
Independence day is the most widely celebrated holiday with most countries celebrating independence from the United Kingdom. And then, there’s the whole Commonwealth business… Imagine having a WhatsApp group with all your exes, so you can keep track of them and check up how they have been keeping since the break up and every few years throwing a party to catch up 👀 but I digress….😂
In our culture we are told not to speak ill of the dead… But that doesn’t mean we must make up platitudes or rewrite history to hide away the stains. Some will say this is not the time to speak about the bad, but others will counter if not here and now, then when?…
Here I am writing this article in the Queen’s Language… (I guess will have to start calling it the King’s language now) I remember my English Teacher or rather to be more correct my teacher of the English Language would usually asked me to read my work to the class because I wrote the most creative essays. How could I not, I practically dream and think in English… are you not entertained?
In my formative years at primary not only was English the medium of instruction, but if you spoke a vernacular language, you had to wear a badge of shame which you passed on to the next person who spoke vernacular and they to the other person and so forth. The one who still had the badge at the end of the day would have to stay after class and cleanup the classroom -sweep and mop the floor. What kind of message do you think that reinforced to young curious mind?
Media is probably going to be messy for a time to come I have just muted all things royal. Anyhoo, I am curious on your experience and impact of the queen, empire and death – which side of the divide are you- The sorrowful, the jubilant, the vengeful or maybe just the watchers on the wall.
“The Queen is dead, long live the King!”
Upon the death of the Queen, Prince Charles automatically became the next
queen King and is now King Charles III. There doesnt need to be any special ceremony for this to take effect although the coronation will be in a year. Operation Spring Tide is the plan for the Prince of Wales’ ascension to the throne, starting the day after the Queen’s death.