If the UK government’s vast security operation is to be believed, official social media blackouts and a ban on retweets are most likely to happen in the aftermath of 95-year-old Queen Elizabeth II’s death to manage the situation.
Codenamed Operation London Bridge, these plans were first revealed in a Guardian Long Read in 2017. The details have now been revealed in full by Politico. It gives insights about the scale of the arrangements for the funeral and government anxieties about whether the UK has the resources to execute them.
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Playing a prominent role, the social media strategy includes plans to change the royal family’s website to a black holding page with a short statement confirming the Queen’s death. The gov.uk website and all governmental social media pages will also display a black banner.
All non-urgent content will not be published. Retweets will also be banned unless cleared by the government’s head of communications.
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According to the documents, the Queen’s coffin is to be taken on a procession from Buckingham Palace to the Palace of Westminster, where it will lie on a raised box known as a catafalque, which will be open to the public for 23 hours a day for three days. Tickets with a time slot will be issued for VIPs.
It also says the state funeral will be held 10 days after her death and heralded as a “day of national mourning”. It will not be an official bank holiday though.