Queen Elizabeth II of England has been the reigning monarch of the United Kingdom since 1952! She was never supposed to be the Queen of England, but because her uncle gave up the crown, she became heir to the throne of the British monarchy as her father’s (King George VI) oldest child. Putting all of that technical mumbo jumbo aside, over the last 65 years, there has been enough power, prestige, scandal and tragedy upon the royal family to last about ten lifetimes!
Standing just behind her highness waiting patiently on his turn for the crown is her oldest son, Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales. Charles has been the culprit of a bit of the drama in the family, having divorced the beloved Princess Diana when their children were just young princes themselves. Now in her early 90s, Queen Elizabeth isn’t exactly a spring chicken. The fact that nature alone will not allow too many more years upon the throne has many asking what will possibly happen when the time comes for a new monarch? Believe it or not, it’s not as simple as a regular funeral and the reading of a will. The following fifteen things that must and/or will happen when the queen dies are sure to shock and amaze us all!
15. Absolutely Everything In Great Britain Will Stop
On the sad and tragic day of the queen’s passing, there will be a lot of tears and quite a lot of mourning. With that said, this will not be as simple as folks saying what a shame it is and then going on as if everything is normal. Queen Elizabeth has been the only monarch most British people have ever known and the citizens of Great Britain feel a very special closeness to the queen. When she dies, there will be a period of at least 12 days of mourning. The day of her funeral procession, there will be a time of silence that absolutely everyone will recognize as her casket makes its way to Westminster Abbey. No school will be in session, businesses will be closed and everyone will watch the procession.
14. Pre-Written Obituaries Are Standing By
The news organizations of the United Kingdom and just about every other country throughout the world have prepared for the time of the queen’s passing. Absolutely no one can afford to be caught off-guard and wonder just what to write about such a monumental and earth-shattering event. Each news organization will want to have a perfectly crafted and fitting obituary for the Queen of England. In order to accomplish this, pre-written obituaries have been ready for quite some time now. Sure, alterations will be made as needed, but they are ready to push a button and either print or send out the sad news to the world digitally. Because this death could come at any time, everyone needs to get the word out absolutely immediately upon learning of her death.
13. Joyful Celebration The Day After His Mother’s Death
Prince Charles will become the King of England immediately upon the passing of the queen, but the news is announced in very elaborate fashion to the world the following day with trumpet calls and travel to various realms within the United Kingdom and the other countries over which the new King will reign as the monarch. This “new king” will be joyfully accepted and brought to the world through news and media organizations all over the country and the world. But sadly, the new King Charles (or whichever name he so chooses) will be doing all this while dealing personally with the passing of his mother. The term “bittersweet” has never had a more appropriate use. The fact that she has lived such a very long and full life should make it less immediately devastating, I’m sure.
12. Nothing To Laugh At… Literally
The British take the monarchy very seriously! So much in fact that when Queen Elizabeth passes away, all comedy programming on the BBC will be pulled from the schedule and there will be no stand-up comedy in any of the clubs during the days of mourning. We all know that the British love their comedy, but during this time, everything is kept very somber out of respect to the passing of the monarch. That is not to say that there may not be an “underground” comedy show happening here or there, but it will be extremely taboo. No one is getting hauled off in chains for laughing during this time, but the level of respect paid to the world’s longest serving monarch in modern history is definitely going to be off the charts!
11. It’s Not Cheap To Celebrate Or Mourn
Leave it to the British to do everything in style. Keep in mind that when the Queen dies, there is also a new monarch in place. With that will come a certain amount of celebration and ceremony. But even with all of that, the mourning for this particular monarch (Queen Elizabeth II) will be off the charts. After all, she has been the only monarch most of her people have ever known in their entire lives, having served for 65 years! The coronation of the new king and the funeral for the queen will both be a declared national holiday, meaning most business will close, as will the stock exchange. Whenever there is a national holiday, there is a lot of money lost. Billions, in fact, will be lost as a result of this alone.
10. Princess Kate May Not Take The Princess Of Wales Title (Out of Respect)
The first in line to the throne automatically ascends to the title of “Prince of Wales.” The wife of the Prince may assume the title of “Princess of Wales.” Prince William will indeed become the Prince of Wales when his father takes the throne, but given that his mother “Princess Diana” died tragically in 1997 and was so beloved by the entire world, Princess Catherine has given careful consideration to the possibility of not taking the Princess of Wales title. This is mere speculation and is in no way a guarantee. Her stepmother-in-law, Camilla has chosen not to use the title Princess of Wales and instead is referred to as the Duchess of Cornwall. This is also out of respect for the beloved Princess Diana, who is so closely associated with the title.
9. There Is A Secret Code Used
The immediate death of the Queen is something the palace wants to keep complete control of from the moment it happens. This type of thing is kept very quiet while all the ducks are getting put in a row. It will not take very long, as there is a perfectly designed plan already in place, but until everything is public, a secret code is used when alerting the Prime Minister and other officials. The code “London Bridge has fallen” is the official designation that Queen Elizabeth II has died. Now that this “secret code” isn’t such a secret anymore (this article certainly isn’t the first to release this information) there may indeed be a plan for a new code. Either way, it seems very James Bond-ish to have everything kept so secretive, but it’s all part of the plan.
8. The Words To The National Anthem Change
Lots of things have to change almost instantly when the Queen passes. For the rest of the world, our passing away is very personal to just family and close friends. Certainly the world goes on just as usual and nothing really stops. In the event of the death of the Queen of England, more has to happen than most of us realize. Like the words to the national anthem for instance. The words to the anthem will change immediately and any singing of the anthem must reflect that change. “God save the Queen” will no longer be appropriate and those that have sung it this way their entire life will need to make a very immediate switch. The mint also has to make preparations for new money that will reflect the image of the new King (also not a cheap endeavor.)
7. The MP Pledge
MP stands for “Member of Parliament.” Each MP takes an oath to the monarch which is seen as a very big deal. In fact, if the member does not take the oath, he or she is subject to a fine and required to vacate the seat! With a new monarch, a new pledge must be made by all MPs, vowing loyalty to the crown. Interestingly, there is a little tradition for Republican MPs to cross their fingers as they take the oath. They generally do not like that there is no reference to loyalty and honor to the people, but only to the monarch herself. They begrudgingly fulfill the requirement, but ceremonially cross their fingers. This will undoubtedly continue when they take the new oath to the new King Charles.
6. There Could Be Lost Ties To The Monarchy
Queen Elizabeth II isn’t just the Queen of England. She is the head of state for 15 separate nations and is recognized as the monarch for 36 more! A great deal can happen over the course of 65 years and while many of these countries have long discussed the possibility of cutting ties with the British monarch, they have not done so yet, waiting for a new monarch and cutting ties at that point. This is very much expected from some and a strong possibility for others. Surely, the British crown would prefer to keep them all in tact and lots will be done to maintain those relationships. Either way, it is an uphill battle for Prince Charles and his staff to keep all these pieces together. Otherwise, the crown has somewhat less significance internationally.
5. All Roads Lead To Buckingham Palace
Regardless of where the Queen is upon her death, she will first be taken to Buckingham Palace. If she is out of the country when the time comes, her body will board a plane and be flown back to London and taken to the palace immediately. The body of the queen will lie in state for several days so the public can view her body and pay respects. But everything gets started from Buckingham Palace. Part of the plan in place for the Queen’s death involves having to get her back from virtually anywhere in the world. The easiest thing would simply be if she were already at the palace at the time of her death. Either way though, the plan must be in place and ready to implement at a moment’s notice.
4. The Monarchy Could End With Just A Simple Majority Vote
The British citizens love the queen. Her approval ratings have always been very high. This is relatively easy to accomplish because the monarch has very little actual power over the operations of the United Kingdom. In all actuality though, getting rid of the monarchy really only requires the vote of the people with a simple majority! This seems unthinkable and strangely easy to accomplish at the same time. No one would have even considered it for a long time, but when the public voted to leave the European Union in the move famously known now as “Brexit,” anything seems possible. Don’t worry, the monarchy isn’t likely to go anywhere anytime soon, but then again…it could. The will of the people is a powerful thing and should never be underestimated.
3. The Doctor Is In Charge
In the last hours of the Queen’s life, it is actually her personal physician that calls all the shots. Dr. Huw Thomas is the Head of the “Medical Household” for the British monarch. This is an official position that oversees all the medical personnel that attend to the queen. These positions are not all full time, but when the queen comes to her final hours, it is most likely that Dr. Thomas will be attending to her directly and making a lot of decisions. It is her doctor that determines what information can or will be released to the public. All the palace staff take their direction from the doctor. It isn’t her personal secretary or family, but rather the physician himself that make these calls. That is a very sophisticated and proper way to handle something like this. We should expect no less from the British.
2. The Announcement At The Gate
Upon the death of Queen Elizabeth II, a very somber and very appropriate manner, one of the servants of the palace known as a footman, will come out of the palace to what we can perceive will be a great deal of people that have already heard the news. The footman will be dressed in black, mourning clothing and without speaking, will attach a notice to the palace gate informing the public of the passing of Queen Elizabeth II. This is the first official declaration of her passing and is a beautiful way to mark her death. The queen’s website will also be blank with only the same official notice posted on the home page. This provides both a low tech and high tech method for informing the world of this very pivotal moment.
1. The Mystery Of The RATS
The Radio Alert Transmission System is known as RATS and is very mysterious. It is a protocol used when a top royal dies. For most, the RATS is completely unknown. It has been around since the 1930s and maintained ever since. Some jokingly say that RATS stands for Royal About To Snuff-it. It will only be necessary to use the alert to signal the passing of the queen and at over 90 years of age, it is clear that at some point before too many more years, the RATS will no longer be a mystery. For years, the BBC’s plan for exactly what to do when the queen dies has been solidly in place. All they are waiting for is the RATS to sound and everything will be set in action.
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