Are you one of the estimated 162 million people worldwide – and 60 million here in the United States – who woke up super early or stayed up really late to watch the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton? Does the idea of royalty fascinate you? Would you call yourself an Anglophile?
Whether you answered yes to any or all of the above questions or couldn’t care less about the United Kingdom and its House of Windsor, there’s an undeniable fascination to the British royal family. Even in America, people love to learn the details of life in one of the world’s last monarchies, and there’s perhaps nobody more fascinating or mysterious than its head, Queen Elizabeth II.
The Second Queen Elizabeth is not only the longest-reigning British monarch, she’s currently the oldest surviving monarch in the world. Most people living today can’t remember a time when she wasn’t ruling the United Kingdom; most of us weren’t even alive before she inherited the crown at the age of 25. It’s difficult to imagine a world without her— but since she is 91 years old and all humans are mortal, there will be a time in the not-so-distance future when that’ll be a reality.
And it’s a reality, it turns out, that the United Kingdom is entirely prepared to face. In fact, as this video from YouTube’s Most Amazing Top Ten reveals, there are 10 things guaranteed to happen once that sad-but-inevitable day happens— and they’re all pretty fascinating.
While most of us are used to figureheads and politicians stepping out of their position after their limited terms are up, a queen or king, of course, keeps their throne for life. So the differences between the two transitions are utterly fascinating, even if you’re the farthest thing from a royal family fan.
Here’s what will happen when the monarch passes on, starting with the code phrase “London Bridge is down”— and how movie-worth is that?
Buckingham Palace will go black.
While the news will undoubtedly spread via modern news technology, there’s a more traditional notification method that will be deployed. At famed Buckingham Palace, a footman dressed in black will put up a black-edged notice on the palace’s gates.
The traditional color of mourning won’t be limited to this notice or to the Queen’s family, either. The royal family’s website will also go black, and even news reporters will wear it while on camera as a sign of respect and sadness.
Laughter will not be televised.
The BBC – the United Kingdom’s public service broadcaster and the first news service to be notified – will remove all comedies and other funny content from their schedule, as well as rearrange all other programs to accommodate more frequent news updates.
The programming change will not be limited to television, either. The BBC’s radio arm will limit their programming to news and to “appropriate” music.
All money will change.
If you look at British money, whether coins or paper, you’ll notice one commonality: they all feature an image of Queen Elizabeth II. Once she passes and the crown passes to Prince Charles, however, all of the money will change— and within only 10 days.
What’s more, the change won’t be limited to the United Kingdom. Counties that are members of the Commonwealth of Nations – including Australia, Canada, India, New Zealand, and 48 others – and also use the Queen’s image on their money will also quickly switch over.
Everybody will mourn.
This point might seem obvious – one would expect a lot of people to mourn when the leader of their country dies – but what’s perhaps not so obvious is how official the mourning period will be. It will, in fact, last for 12 days, including a proclaimed national holiday on the day of the Queen’s funeral, which will occur 9 days after her death.
Mourning periods will likely also be proclaimed in other Commonwealth countries, and all flags will, of course, fly at half-staff. Businesses and the stock market will shut down completely, sports events will be canceled, and the royal parks will even ban the playing of games.
To learn the rest of the top 10 things that will happen when Queen Elizabeth II passes – as well as learn more about the details of the facts above and how the Commonwealth of Nations works – check out the video below.
What did you think of these fascinating facts? Are you a fan of Q.E.II and the British royal family, or are you strictly anti-monarchist? Did you know any of this information already? Share your thoughts with us and with each other!