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Prince Philip, husband of Queen Elizabeth II, passes away at age 99 but what happens now?



The Royal Family, in a statement, announced the news, saying, "It is with deep sorrow that Her Majesty The Queen announces the death of her beloved husband, His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.”


"His Royal Highness passed away peacefully this morning at Windsor Castle."


"The Royal Family join with people around the world in mourning his loss,"


The Duke of Edinburgh, born in 1921, had been hospitalised to the private King Edward VII's Hospital in London on Feb. 16, where he was treated for an infection. He was later transferred to a specialized cardiac care hospital, St. Bartholomew's, for a short stay, before returning to King Edward VII's, and being discharged to return home on March 16.


A leading figure in the British royal family for almost seven decades, the royal had been by his wife's side throughout her 69-year reign, the longest in British history, during which time he earned a reputation for a tough, no-nonsense attitude and a propensity for occasional gaffes.

What will happen now.

Just as there is a plan in place for precisely what will happen upon the death of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II (Operation London Bridge), Operation Forth Bridge dictates what will happen when the Queen’s husband, Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, passes. The Duke has been closely involved with the details of the Operation Forth Bridge, just as the Queen has been with Operation London Bridge. The name refers to a suspension bridge linking Edinburgh to Perth; the Queen and the Duke attended the dedication ceremony for the bridge in 1964.


On the tragic day of the death of Prince Philip, the details of what will happen, down to the most minute point, have long been put in place.


As macabre as it might sound, there have long been specific, exhaustive plans in place for the deaths of senior members of the royal family, all of which have codenames. For example, the Queen's is called Operation London Bridge and Prince Charles' is Operation Menai Bridge.


When Diana, Princess of Wales was killed in Paris in 1997 there was no blueprint in place for her death and courtiers instead copied the blueprint they already had for the Queen Mother's death — Operation Tay Bridge.


Prince Philip's plan is called Operation Forth Bridge.


How the media will react

The press reaction will be swift and largely predictable. For years — decades even — magazines, TV news shows and newspapers have been preparing for when both the Queen and her husband sadly breathe their last. Obituaries will be immediately published, ready-made documentaries will air and commentators will clog the airwaves 24/7.


Expect to see TV anchors and all reporters wearing black.


Flags will be lowered - but not at Buckingham Palace

Across the UK and Commonwealth, flags will be lowered to half-mast as a sign of respect. Crucially though, the Royal Standard Flag, which is flown at royal residences when Her Majesty is present, will remain flying. This particular flag symbolises the continuity of the monarchy and is only ever lowered when a sovereign passes away.


Elsewhere, in the British Houses of Parliament, the ceremonial "mace" will be covered by a black cloth and Members of Parliament will don either black ties or black armbands.


No laws will be passed for eight days

The Queen will begin an official mourning period which is expected to last eight days. Some British government affairs might be put on hold for this period, as during this time no laws will be given the Royal Assent.


Black suits and no social engagements

All members of the royal family travel at all times with a black outfit on hand, just in case. (This rule came into effect after the Queen's father King George VI died in 1952. At the time, she and Philip were in Africa and immediately flew home to London, but had not packed any mourning clothes. When their plane landed back in the UK, suitably sombre clothes had to be brought onto their aircraft for them to change into before they emerged to face the press.)


From the minute the news of the Duke's death breaks, any time we see a member of the house of Windsor, they will be in black and — for the men — potentially wearing black armbands too.


The family will cancel all social events although there is a question mark over whether they would go ahead with some prearranged official engagements.


No state funeral

As the Queen's official consort, Philip is entitled to a state funeral, however in his classic no-nonsense style, he wants a far simpler and more personal service.

Rather than lying in state in Westminster Hall as he would be entitled to, it has been reported that his body will lie at St James's Palace (which is also where Diana's body lay before her funeral). Covid restrictions notwithstanding, it is unlikely there will be any sort of public viewing.


Military pomp and no cameras

Philip's funeral service, rather than Westminster Abbey, will be held at St George's Chapel at Windsor (yes, where Harry and Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex got married).


Even before the pandemic, the plan was for the event to be quite low-key, with only family members and some heads of state attending. It is believed that Philip, who served in the British navy for 13 years including during World War II, has chosen what is essentially a military funeral.

It is also unlikely, given the relatively personal commemoration of his life, that TV cameras would be allowed inside the chapel, as they are at, say, royal weddings.


Afterwards, it is believed he will be buried in Frogmore Gardens, which is the final resting place for Queen Victoria and Prince Albert.


The Queen will go back to work

It is unthinkable what it would be like for Her Majesty to have to return to her daily life without her partner of 73 years. (Their 74th wedding anniversary would be in November 2021.) However, have no doubt: For the Queen, duty and service to her country have been her lodestars since she ascended to the throne in 1952.

While Queen Victoria, who after the sudden loss of her beloved "Bertie" disappeared from public life and spent years in seclusion, our current Queen will return to carrying out her duties and events with the determination and commitment that have been the hallmarks of her reign.


Bubble Media Group offers its condolences to Her Majesty The Queen, following the passing of HRH The Duke of Edinburgh.


#PrincePhilip

#RIPPrincePhilip

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