Queen Elizabeth II Death: What Is Operation Unicorn? Activated With 'London Bridge' After UK Monarch's Passing Away

Queen Elizabeth II Death: What Is Operation Unicorn? Activated With 'London Bridge' After UK Monarch's Passing Away

New Delhi: The United Kingdom’s plan for the eventual death of Queen Elizabeth II, codenamed London Bridge, has been widely covered over the years. However, there is not much awareness pertaining to Operation Unicorn activated after the monarch breathed her last on Thursday

96-year-old Queen Elizabeth II passed away at her remote Highlands residence at Balmoral Castle in Scotland, with all her immediate family flying in to be at her side, the Royal Family’s official statement informed.

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What Is Operation Unicorn?

According to news agency AFP, Operation Unicorn pertains to special provisions if the Queen died when she was in Scotland. The unicorn is the national animal of Scotland and forms part of the royal coat of arms, along with the lion of England.

Operation London Bridge was activated after the Queen’s demise, including BBC presenters wearing black and channels switching to rolling news. The Herald newspaper reported that

As for Operation Unicorn, the term was first used in the Edinburgh parliament’s online papers in 2017 for an event where the monarch died in Scotland, AFP reported citing news the Herald newspaper.

“It is understood that if the Queen dies in Scotland… the Parliament, the neighbouring Palace of Holyroodhouse, and St Giles’ Cathedral will be the main focal points,” the newspaper wrote, as per AFP.

The palace is the official royal residence in Edinburgh and the cathedral is one of the Scottish capital’s most important medieval churches.

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According to protocol, the Parliamentary business is suspended immediately and politicians prepare a motion of condolence and get ready for a state funeral.

Members of the public sign a book of condolence at the parliament at Holyrood.

The Queen’s death in Scotland can result in hundreds of thousands of people arriving there, a source in the parliament told The Herald.

“If the Queen passes away in Scotland, her body will rest at Holyroodhouse, following which her coffin will be carried to the cathedral on the Royal Mile (in Edinburgh),” the newspaper wrote.

Following this, the monarch’s body will be placed on the Royal Train at Waverley station in Edinburgh for a journey down the east coast mainline to London.

Queen Elizabeth II’s death brings to an end the longest reign in the history of the United Kingdom and one of the longest reigns by any head of state.