Will we get a day off work when the Queen dies?

·2-min read
The Queen presents a trophy at Ascot Racecourse on 16 October, 2021.  (PA)
The Queen presents a trophy at Ascot Racecourse on 16 October, 2021. (PA)

When Queen Elizabeth II dies, Britain will grind to a halt as it marks almost two weeks of national mourning for its longest-serving monarch.

Under plans codenamed Operation London Bridge, news of her death will be shared with the prime minister and senior ministers, before being made public via the media.

This will be followed by a national minute’s silence on the same day, which the plans refer to as D-Day.

Although the gist of Operation London Bridge had been known for some time, its details were laid out in leaked documents reported by POLITICO in early September.

The documents show what will happen in the aftermath of the Queen’s death, including the fact that the Accession Council will proclaim Charles as King on “D-Day+1”.

The new King will spend his first days as monarch on a tour to Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. Meanwhile, the Queen will lie in state at the Palace of Westminster for three days.

On the tenth day after her death, Queen Elizabeth II will receive a state funeral at Westminster Abbey, an occasion which will be marked as a “Day of National Mourning”.

Although this will essentially be a bank holiday, an extra one will not be granted if the funeral falls on a weekend or a pre-existing bank holiday, according to POLITICO.

The documents for Operation London Bridge also show that the government will not order companies to give their staff the day off. Instead, employers will be left to decide whether or not to grant one.

The 95-year-old Queen missed a trip to Northern Ireland this week because she was ordered to rest by her doctors, fuelling speculation about her health.

After spending a night in hospital on Wednesday for “preliminary investigations”, she returned to Windsor Castle the following day and seemed “in good spirits”, a Buckingham Palace spokesperson said.

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