New Delhi: Queen Elizabeth II of Britain died at the age of 96, the Buckingham Palace announced on Thursday. Earlier in the day, members of the royal family rushed to the Balmoral Castle in Scotland to be with the monarch, where she was under medical supervision.
Her son and heir, Prince Charles and his wife Camilla – Duchess of Cornwall travelled to Balmoral to be with her in her last moments, according to their Clarence House and Kensington Palace offices. The Queen’s grandsons Prince William and Prince Harry also reached the Scottish estate.
As the monarch passed away, her eldest son Charles will lead the country in mourning as the new King and head of state for 14 Commonwealth realms. Charles was the Prince of Wales till now.
In a statement, the Buckingham Palace said, “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.”
The monarch had been suffering from age-related mobility issues and had cut down her travels, including appointing new Prime Minister Liz Truss in Scotland earlier this week.
Operation London Bridge
The Queen’s death will kick off ‘Operation London Bridge’, which is a meticulously drawn up plan to deal with the eventuality of the death of the head of the state.
First set up in the 1960s, the plan of action was meant to be followed for 10 days after the monarch’s death and has been revised several times over the years.
Among other things, the plan was aimed at ensuring a smooth transition of Prince Charles to the throne. According to the protocol, he will officially be announced as the King a day after the demise of Her Majesty.
The name ‘Operation London Bridge’ represents a secret code to be shared with the staff of Buckingham Palace and members of government befor the official announcement of her death. And the Queen passed away today, they received the message was: “London Bridge is down.”
According to a report by The Guardian, as the Queen died in Scotland, the plans will unfold under code name ‘Operation Unicorn‘.