The passing of Queen Elizabeth II triggered what has long been known as Operation London Bridge, ten days of mourning covering the late monarch's laying in state, state funeral arrangements, a bank holiday, and the ascension of her son Charles to the throne. Due to where she passed, in Balmoral, Scotland, it is being launched in combination with Operation Unicorn to honor her passing in the place she considered the closest thing to a private home. However, though the outline of events is technically public knowledge, not everything is laid out to make it easy to follow, and several adjustments are being made on the fly due to the situation on the ground.
The big one is the ten-day timeline. The Queen passed on Sept. 8, 2022, making her funeral Sept. 18, 2022, a Sunday. But because the Royal Family did not announce her passing until after the close of business hours local time, there has been a move to push it to Monday to allow a bit of breathing room. Currently, all schedules published reflect that change, with Sky News and The Telegraph reporting that the funeral is almost sure to be Monday the 19th. If this changes, we will let everyone know.
Here is the Day-by-Day schedule currently being reported in the U.K.
For the latest guidance on Mourning and how to sign our online book of condolence, please visit our website:— The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) September 9, 2022
Saturday, Sept. 10:
The Accession Council meets at 10 a.m. BT to proclaim King Charles III as the lawful King. Even though Charles technically inherited the title at the moment of his mother's passing, it is still a constitutional necessity to have him declared the lawful and rightful heir. Although this is going to happen at 5 a.m. ET (and two in the morning on America's west coast), it is a historical event, the first time this coronation stage has ever been televised, and it is expected that most rolling news stations will carry it live.
This will be directly followed by the King holding his first Privy Council, another televised first, where he will make his personal declaration of loyalty and take the oath to "assume the duties and responsibilities of sovereignty" as his mother before him. Fun fact: Camilla and William are both on the Privy Council, so there will be multiple royals in attendance, along with senior politicians, the clergy, and Supreme Court justices.
Sunday, Sept. 11:
While we in America will remember the 21st anniversary of 9-11, Queen Elizabeth's coffin will leave Balmoral to lie in state at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh. This is part of Operation Unicorn, recognizing the Queen's passing in Scotland. While she lies in state up north, proclamations will be read in the Parliaments of Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland.
This is also a big day for Charles, as he will meet with the Secretary-General of the Commonwealth. As history buffs know, the "Commonwealth" literally didn't exist when Elizabeth took the throne in 1952; she was declared the imperial ruler of the British Empire. Over her 70-year reign, as countries tried to declare freedom from Britain, she convinced them to convert to "Commonwealths" and declared herself the head of it.
It was a brilliant way to keep the empire from completely dissolving at the moment. However, it's also not part of the titles that transfer to Charles upon her death since it didn't exist before her. With several countries itching to exit said Commonwealth now that she's gone, how this meeting plays out will be a bellwether on how Charles plans to deal with that.
TRHs The Prince and Princess of Wales, titles conferred on the couple by HM King Charles III today. pic.twitter.com/63FBG5eCKf— Mark Stewart (@RegalEyes) September 9, 2022
Monday, Sept. 12:
The second day of the Queen's lying in state will begin with a procession along the Royal Mile from the Palace of Holyroodhouse to St Giles' Cathedral. Charles, Anne, Andrew, and Edward will stage a vigil around the Queen's coffin, known as the Vigil of the Princes, while the Crown of Scotland is placed on the casket. This is also part of Operation Unicorn.
Meanwhile, back in London, Parliament will meet in Westminster. The House of Commons and the House of Lords will unanimously come together to ratify a Motion of Condolence to King Charles III. He is supposed to show up to that, though it is not clear what time this will be since he's also supposed to be in Scotland standing vigil.
Tuesday, Sept. 13:
Elizabeth's coffin will lie in state for the public to visit for most of the day. Meanwhile, King Charles III (accompanied by Queen Consort Camilla) will fly to Belfast. There, Charles will meet Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Chris Heaton-Harris MP, as well as other party leaders for the first time as King. Charles and Camilla will attend a prayer service at St Anne's Cathedral after meeting with religious leaders, before returning to London.
At 5 p.m. BT, Elizabeth's coffin will leave Scotland. The trip through the streets from St Giles' Cathedral to Edinburgh airport will be viewable to the public. It is expected to land in London just before 7 p.m. BT. It will be driven to Buckingham Palace, met by Charles, the other members of the Royal Family, and a guard of honor. It will then go to the Bow Room and dressed with her crown, orb, and scepter, and watched over by a rota of chaplains. This will be televised worldwide on rolling news.
Wednesday, Sept. 14:
After spending the morning in Buckingham Palace, the coffin's official procession through the streets of London from Buckingham Palace to Westminister Hall will take place just after 2 p.m. BT. The procession will be open to crowds to line the streets and watch, as well as broadcast worldwide, and streamed live on BritBox. The trip will go through central London: Queen's Gardens, The Mall, Horse Guards and Horse Guards Arch, Whitehall, Parliament Street, Parliament Square, and New Palace Yard.
The procession will include the coffin carried on a gun carriage. Charles and the rest of the members of the Royal Family will walk behind the coffin. As her coffin reaches Westminister, guns will be fired at Hyde Park and Big Ben will toll. The Coffin will then be placed in the main hall, and the official lying in state period begins. For the next four days, members of the public will be allowed to file past and pay their last respects. Lines are expected to be long, with people camping overnight to get in.
Thursday, Sept. 15 - Saturday, Sept. 17:
Elizabeth's coffin will lie in state, with thousands passing. BritBox will carry the live stream of ITV's Good Morning Britain on both the 15th and the 16th live from The Queue. In order to manage the already four-mile-long and counting access queue, the Royal Family has put up a YouTube tracker for those making their way to the end of the line.
It will be a day of rest from high-profile events for Charles, who is expected to spend the day at Highgrove in Gloucestershire taking calls from world leaders and generally getting his feet under him. The Prince and Princess of Wales are expected to make public appearances throughout the day. On Friday the 16th, Charles will travel to Wales (again accompanied by Queen Consort Camilla), marking the final of his "first visits as King" to the four nations that still make up the United Kingdom. That evening, Charles will join Princess Anne and Princes Andrew and Edward for the traditional "Prince's Vigil."
Sunday, Sept. 18:
Elizabeth's lying in state will officially end on the 19th, but the "national moment of silence" is scheduled to happen on the 18th, at 8 p.m. The one-minute moment is expected to be observed at community events and vigils. Meanwhile, London will start filling up with every human of importance from around the globe in preparation for the funeral on Monday. (Biden has confirmed he plans to attend.) Charles will greet the dignitaries at Buckingham Palace in what is expected to be the greatest number of heads of state assembled in close to a century.
BritBox will carry live footage of the morning's events via their continuing extended live stream of ITV's Good Morning Britain. Ahead of the funeral the next day, BBC America will air A Tribute to Her Majesty The Queen at 8 p.m. ET.
Monday, Sept. 19:
We will not see her like again…The Queen, Paddington bear and her corgi pic.twitter.com/r19N7Jt90h— Martin Plaut (@martinplaut) September 8, 2022
The day of the funeral is a bank holiday for the general public and the official day of mourning. The closing of the lying-in-state portion is now scheduled for 8:30 a.m. BT, two hours later than originally planned, due to the Queue. That will give everyone time to clear out the crowds of mourners and prep for the actual event. At 9 a.m. BT, Big Ben will be muffled so that its strikes will not ring out for the rest of the day.
The funeral will begin at 10:45 a.m. BT, when Elizabeth's coffin will then process from Westminster Hall to Westminster Abbey, a less than 15-minute walk. As with Diana, Prince Philip, and the Queen Mum, the family is expected to walk behind the coffin in the procession. The state funeral will begin at 11 a.m., local time, and runs an hour and end with the Last Post and Reveille being played, and a full two minutes of silence across the nation. Post-funeral, the coffin then goes from Westminster Abbey to Wellington Arch via the Mall.
Then it's on to Windsor Castle and down the Long Walk, where Queen Elizabeth will be buried, in St, George's Chapel in Windsor Chapel, next to Prince Philip. Her internment is expected to occur at 4 p.m. BT. There will then be a private burial service later in the evening at 7 p.m. BT.
Coverage by BBC One is slated to begin at 8 a.m. local time and will run all day until 5 p.m. BT. All shows slated to air that day (yes that includes the season premiere of Strictly Come Dancing, which is being bumped back a week) are canceled. As the nation's main network, and commercial-free, it is expected to be the most heavily watched network that day in the U.K. But those of us who are geo-blocked from it, have no fear. Plenty of American channels will be airing and streaming the funeral as well. NBC, Fox, CBS, and ABC are planning on running it on their networks, as well as rolling news channels C-Span, CNN, and MSNBC.
On Mon, Sept 19, we will be airing Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral and an evening special, both of which will also be available to stream on the PBS app. (4/6)— PBS (@PBS) September 14, 2022
The PBS Newshour is planning all-day coverage across PBS stations. The broadcast network is working in conjunction with BBC One and is officially, as of this writing, the only American channel going hardcore, starting at 3 a.m ET, and 12 midnight on the west coast, and carrying the full event without interruption for eight hours. PBS WORLD Channels will air a delayed broadcast starting at 12 p.m. ET, for those who cannot possibly handle getting up that early, or, in the case of the west coast, require sleep. (As always, check your local listings.)
Though the rolling news channels will dip in and out all day during the lead-up to the funeral itself, the other broadcast channels are not expected to break in until an hour before the funeral, at 5 a.m. ET/2 a.m. PT. It is expected the channel will carry the event all the way until 12n ET/9 a.m. PT. Much of the lead-up to the funeral has also been broadcast live on YouTube via the BBC's official channel, though it is not clear if the day of events will be given the same treatment.
For cord-cutters who rely on streaming, as one of the few services with the ability to carry live events, Paramount+ will stream the funeral for subscribers. Peacock, which is also in the small group of big-name streamers with that ability, will also carry it, though not on the free tier. The PBS App will also carry it. BBC America will carry the BBC One live stream in full starting at 4 a.m., while BritBox will continue to carry the morning live stream of ITV's Good Morning Britain starting at 4:30 a.m., as it has all week.
Please note, that BBC One plans to then air a recap on the Events of the Day program as soon as the funeral coverage is ended, followed by airing the best movie ever made in human history, Paddington 2. (No word is anyone over here will follow suit, but it is streaming on HBO Max if you would like to do the same.) Most PBS stations have a full day of Queen-centric programming following the funeral, starting with an encore presentation of the PBS Newshour special, Queen Elizabeth: A Royal Life, and followed by a lineup of documentaries interspersed with BBC World News broadcasts and ending with a broadcast of BBC One's The State Funeral of HM Queen Elizabeth II: Events of the Day at 8 p.m. ET.
Though BritBox will end its coverage after the funeral, it will live stream Good Morning Britain on Tuesday the 20th covering the nation's attempt at returning to normal.
As for Charles' coronation, details have not been released and may not for weeks. (Like his mother, he may not be coronated until the following year.) We will continue to update with details as they come in the following days.