Operation Unicorn: What is Operation Unicorn? What happens when the Queen dies in Scotland?

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Queen Elizabeth II has died at Balmoral.

The nation is in mourning over the death of Queen Elizabeth II on Thursday afternoon (September 8).

Her Majesty died “peacefully” at Balmoral surrounded by her family, Buckingham Palace confirmed.

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As the Queen has died in Scotland, a plan known as Operation Unicorn will be implemented.

Queen ElizabethQueen Elizabeth
Queen Elizabeth

What is Operation Unicorn?

As Queen Elizabeth II has died while at Balmoral, Parliament will be immediately suspended to prepare for her state funeral.

Thousands of people are expected to come to Scotland to pay their respects and mourn. Many are expected to congregate in Edinburgh at St Giles’ Cathedral, the Scottish Parliament and the Palace of Holyroodhouse.

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Following her death, the Monarch will be conveyed from Balmoral Castle in Aberdeenshire to Edinburgh, where she will be take to the Palace of Holyroodhouse.

Her coffin will then be carried to St Giles’ Cathedral on Edinburgh’s Royal Mile, in a solemn procession where people will be able to pay their respects. Queen Elizabeth II will then lie in state at the church for around 24 hours.

The Queen will then be transported to London, where her state funeral will take place. It is understood she is to be buried with her husband, The Duke of Edinburgh, and parents at St George’s Chapel in Windsor.

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What is Operation London Bridge?

Operation London Bridge is the primary plan for the Queen’s death, which will run in parallel with Operation Unicorn.

It sets out in detail what will happen in the 10 days between the Queen’s death and her state funeral at Westminster Abbey in London.

What is Operation Spring Tide?

Operation Spring Tide is the plan for the Prince of Wales' ascension to the throne, starting the day after the Queen’s death when he will be proclaimed the new king by the Accession Council at St James's Palace.

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That evening MPs will swear allegiance to the new Monarch, followed by proclamations by the Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish administrations the day after.

On the third day the new monarch is expected to receive the motion of condolence at Westminster Hall in the morning and then depart for a tour of the United Kingdom, attending services in Edinburgh, Belfast and Cardiff before returning to London.

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