Buckingham Palace has confirmed that Her Majesty The Queen has died aged 96.

The news of her death was announced in a statement on behalf of the Royal Family.

A statement read: "The Queen died peacefully at Balmoral this afternoon.

"The King and The Queen Consort will remain at Balmoral this evening and will return to London tomorrow."


As is the case whenever a member of the Royal Family dies, there are strict plans in place for what happens next, none more important than the death of the Head of State.

Each member of the Royal Family has their own code name, detailing the plans in place in the event of their death.

The Queen's life in pictures

In the Queen’s case, the codename is Operation London Bridge.

Operation London Bridge

In September last year, new details of Operation London Bridge were leaked suggesting the day the Queen dies will be known as D-Day.

UK Government departments will be told to have flags at half-mast within 10 minutes after government officials are told and instructed to show “discretion”.

Prince Charles will become King when his mother passes and will address the nation on the day of his mother’s death.

The Prime Minister will be the first government official to release an official statement.

The Queen will be buried 10 days after her death with Prince Charles expected to embark on a UK tour in the days leading to the burial.

According to Politico, Parliamentary business will be suspended for 10 days and the sovereign’s coffin will lie in state for three days at the Houses of Parliament.

The Royal household will issue an official statement notifying the nation of the monarch’s passing.

What is Operation Unicorn?

Operation Unicorn is the plan in place for if the Queen dies in Scotland. It has been regularly revised over the years to ensure an organise procedure when the time comes.

Upon her death in Scotland, the Scottish Parliament will be immediately suspended.

There will then be 36 hours given for to prepare a motion of condolence.

Her body would be carried to Holyroodhouse where it would rest, before being carried to St Giles’ Cathedral in Edinburgh.

The Queen’s body would then make her final trip home, with her coffin taking the Royal Train from Waverley Station back to London.

What happens now the Queen has died?

On the day of the monarch’s death, Ministers will receive a call and an email reading: “Dear colleagues, It is with sadness that I write to inform you of the death of Her Majesty The Queen.”

The details of the funeral will be announced while government and royal websites will display a black banner.

Charles will deliver a speech to the nation before meeting the Prime Minister.

The day after the Queen’s death government officials will proclaim Charles their new king.

The Queen’s funeral arrangements

The day of the funeral will be a day of national mourning although employers will not be forced to give employees the day off work.

The funeral will be held at Westminster Abbey and a national two-minute silence will be held at noon.

The Queen will be buried at King George VI Memorial Chapel.