Of Queen Elizabeth II: A Complicated Legacy

London Bridge is down….

Queen Elizabeth II 
1926-2022
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.

No guard Changing Ceremony
No Guard Changing Ceremony Today credit DailyMail

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.

Operation Unicorn

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.

A nation in mourning 
Ten days of commeration after the queen's death
Operation Unicorn Credit NYBreaking

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 cocaineenough 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

Queen from 1952 -2022

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…

Queen Elizabeth and Princess
King George VI, Queen Elizabeth and Princess Elizabeth at the grave of Cecil John Rhodes in 1947

 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….😂

List of countries that got their independence from the united kingdom
Countries that got their Independence from the united kingdom Wikipedia

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?…

Our late former president HE Robert Mugabe accompaniying the now late HM Queen Elizabeth on a visit to Zimbabwe in 1991 – Credit GILL ALLEN

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!”

~B

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.  

22 Comments

    1. Much appreciated.
      I found the information to be fascinating and decided I had to share ^_^ and am pleased to find other people picked up an interesting morsel or two 🤣
      Thank you
      ~B

      Liked by 1 person

  1. You’re good, in every way. I loved this….you just gave me an open field from which I can chose the angle to view this best.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Marshall, I wanted to capture a dynamic take to the situation which would hold true without creating a logical fallacy where there is a right or wrong side, just different sides.
      ~B

      Like

  2. I’m in the “Oh, someone famous died? That’s too bad” camp. While I think the Queen kept things classy, her children and grand children certainly have not followed suit.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I am guessing one of the reasons she stuck around for so long was because she probably foresaw the monarchy becoming a circus act 🤡 but what do I know?
      Drinks my beer and minds my quart 🍻

      ~B

      Liked by 2 people

    1. A WhatsApp group of exes 🤣🤣🤣

      Agreed, my gripe is that they not sweep away the wrong without acknowledgement as
      it’s even possible that in the future they will look back at us as we are now and see the things we think are “normal” and “right” in a different light.
      What we can do is honour each stage and era we are in…

      ~B

      Liked by 1 person

  3. This was very informative. Thank you. I can imagine this kind of planning is in effect in the event of death for any country’s leader (the plan in the US would, no doubt, have many more steps!) As for my feelings for the Queen herself, I have just been an onlooker for the most part although as a young person in the 80s, I was unhappy with the Royal family’s treatment of Princess Diana and the disaster of a marriage that she and Charles shared.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You are right, I’m sure countries have in place intricate plans on how to handle the death of their higher office people and of course a succession plan to make sure a country is never in a period of uncertainty or doubts.

      I guess what made these plans stand out is probably because they got “leaked” into a public secret and so we got to be aware of how everything is planned out (which is why I’m of the thought that could also have been an intentional or if not a countermeasure to an actual leak where the plans became a red herring, diverting unwanted attention…) or maybe I read too many spy
      thrillers

      ordinarily I am guessing these things would happen and we wouldn’t even be aware that it was planned out… I know that the major media houses keep dossiers with file tapes and biographies of people of interest such that in the event of their death they will be ready to flood the news cycle with life stories, quotes and photos…

      As a young person in the 90s I was saddened by the death of Diana, I remember waving at her when she came to visit my city the whole school stood by the side of road 🤣🤔 hmmm anyway 🤡 when I was old enough to learn some of what transpired between Diana, Charles and the Royal family yeah, it didn’t paint the best of pictures.

      ~B

      Like

    1. Makes sense would have quite plan but the extend to which it is planned is just mind boggling…. What else is planned out in such meticulous detail… I think life in the royal family comes with some strict protocols laid out over years and years.

      I tried to capture the overall picture and how people have their reasons to feel what they feel.

      ~B

      Liked by 1 person

    1. At the 73 King Charles is the oldest monarch to ascend to King and one who has waited longest before…. Imagine living practically your whole life a king in waiting…. Makes it a bitter sweet moment when finally ascends..
      Also in a way probably how you become hardened with ice in your veins… Kingdom before self 👑

      ~B

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Very Informative – I enjoyed the read. AS you say many have opposing views – but that everyone should be able to express them as eloquently is appreciated.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. It was fascinating to read of all these secret missions and plans in place. They were revealed the moment the Queen was proclaimed dead. How does that work? Does someone go and leak the mission since they won’t be held accountable, or do they just make it known to the public so we can marvel at all the things that we’re not really aware of?

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Super cool post! I’ve learned so much and the protocols put in place are amazing. I enjoyed the read immensely.

    The Queen had a huge impact in the horse world and has helped a very famous cowboy named Monty Roberts spread his message and his methods of training horses with non violence ways. I just went to a Monty Roberts clinic this last June, and the trainer who I got my horse Murphy from is a Monty Roberts Certified Instructor, and she received a letter from the queen thanking her for continuing on the legacy of Monty’s training and vision. The Queen of England and Monty were really good friends as he even helped train many of her race horses I believe. So I’m a Queen lover since she loved horses and was an advocate for their well being. I’m sure you could have guessed as much!! I just had to share. Thank you for your share! ❤️🐴🤠❤️

    Liked by 1 person

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