Ministers in the UK have reportedly led a secret exercise in case Queen Elizabeth dies. In an unprecedented move, the members of the Cabinet have come together for a meeting last week to prepare a 10-day mourning plan — code name London Bridge — that would follow if the monarch, 92, passes away, The International Business Times says.
Cabinet minister David Lidington allegedly chaired a meeting on Thursday to plan the likely event. Also included in the meeting were Home secretary Sajid Javid discussed, Commons leader Andrea Leadsom and Scottish secretary David Mundell.
The Sunday Times reports that the exercise, called “Castle Dove,” focused on D+1, which is the day after Queen Elizabeth’s death. It was not prompted by specific concerns of Her Majesty’s health, although it came during the same week when she missed a service at St Paul’s Cathedral because she was feeling unwell.
“This is the first time different ministers have come together in one room. Previously, it has only been officials,” a source told the paper.
A cabinet minister added, “Things have clearly been stepped up because of the ageing process.”
The meeting, called “London Bridge,” was scheduled even before the Queen was announced to miss a service at St Paul’s Cathedral. Political aides were allegedly banned from attending it to prevent leaks to the press.
As for the 10 days of official mourning, the plan reportedly called for 600 members of the Privy Council to converge on Buckingham Palace to rubber-stamp the accession of Prince Charles to King. Her Majesty’s body would be laid at Westminster hall, Houses of Parliament, where the public would be expected to pay their respects.
Meanwhile, the Queen is said to be due for surgery on her knees but is refusing the operation. According to the Sun, she had confided that her knees hurt every time she had to stand up, but she didn’t want to undergo surgery due to the recuperation time it demands.
“She was talking to friends at the Chelsea Flower Show and said her knees were playing up,” a source said. “But she is reluctant to have an op due to the time it would take to recover. She is incredibly brave. People from her and Philip’s generation battle through problems and carry on. And Her Majesty doesn’t like to cause any fuss.”