Ministers ‘rehearse for death of the Queen’ for the first time

…In ‘unprecedented’ Whitehall exercise


Ministers have rehearsed plans for the death of the Queen in an ‘unprecedented’ exercise – it has been reported.

The secret exercise was based around preparations for 10 days of national mourning in the aftermath of the Monarch’s passing.


The Times reports Cabinet minister David Lidington chaired a detailed meeting.

Home Secretary Sajid Javid and leader of the Commons Andrea Leadsom are also reported to have been in the planning session.

The exercise – dubbed ‘Castle Dove’ – focused on the day after the Queen’s death and when Prime Minister Theresa May would make public statements.

Its timing is not believed to be a response to any specific health concerns.

A plan for the Queen’s death, known as ‘London Bridge’ has long been discussed but the exercise is said to have been on an ‘unprecedented’ scale.

A Whitehall Source told The Times: "This is the first time different ministers have come together in one room. Previously it has only been officials."

A cabinet minister reportedly added: “Things have clearly been stepped up because of the ageing process.”

Previous reports have suggested the PM will be one of the first people to be told before any official announcement.

It is believed that the Queen’s private secretary will call the PM on a secure line and then utter the code: "London Bridge is down."

Queen Elizabeth II turned 92 in April and has been Monarch for 65 years.

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