Operation Menai Bridge: The plan for King Charles III’s death explained

King Charles III ascended to the throne following the September 2022 death of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II.

After more than one year of reigning, the royal family was hit with the devastating news that Charles was diagnosed with cancer following a January 2024 surgery for benign prostate enlargement.

In April 2024, it was reported that the monarch’s health was declining and plans for his funeral were being updated.

King Charles III ascended to the throne following the September 2022 death of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II. Getty Images
After more than one year of reigning, the royal family was hit with the devastating news that Charles was diagnosed with cancer. Getty Images

“Speaking to friends of the king in recent weeks about his health, the most common response is … ‘It’s not good,’” Tom Sykes of the Daily Beast reported.

A friend of the monarch claimed Charles was “determined to beat it and they are throwing everything at it,” adding, “Everyone is staying optimistic, but he is really very unwell. More than they are letting on.”

As Charles’ health issues persist, plans about the future of the throne have been put in place under a code name.

Find out more about Operation Menai Bridge below.

What is Operation Menai Bridge?

Operation Menai Bridge is the code name given to the former Prince of Wales. Getty Images
It’s the name of the world’s first iron suspension bridge in Anglesey, Wales. Getty Images

Operation Menai Bridge is the code name given to the former Prince of Wales to reference his death. It’s also the name of the world’s first iron suspension bridge in Anglesey, Wales.

The way Operation Menai Bridge will unfold following Charles’ death will be similar to that of the 10-day plan Operation London Bridge, which was the code name used for his mom, Elizabeth.

Preparation for the death of Charles reportedly kicked off after he took the throne, according to former Royal Protection Officer Simon Morgan.


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“Unfortunately, as of tomorrow morning, planning for Operation Menai Bridge will start in earnest,” he told “Today” in September 2022.

“Even the King said in his acceptance that he will take this role for as long as life allows him to. He is 73 years of age, it’s got to be in the back of your mind, and from the police, we’ve got to start planning again for the future.”

How would Operation Menai Bridge unfold?

After Charles passes away, his eldest son, Prince William, is next in line to become the king. Getty Images
William’s wife, Kate Middleton, would become queen consort. Getty Images

After Charles passes away, his eldest son, Prince William, is next in line to become the king and William’s wife, Kate Middleton, would become queen consort.

Several people will be informed about the King’s death — including his family, the prime minister, the cabinet secretary, other senior ministers and officials and the King’s Privy Council Office — by his private secretary.

The royal household will then issue an “official notification” to alert the public, and there are scripts in place on how officials should alert others on the news.

The cabinet secretary will email ministers and senior civil servants and after the message is received, flags at Whitehall would be lowered to half-mast.

Several people will be informed about the King’s death — including his family, the prime minister, the cabinet secretary, other senior ministers and officials and the King’s Privy Council Office — by his private secretary. Getty Images
The royal household will then issue an “official notification” to alert the public, and there are scripts in place on how officials should alert others on the news. Getty Images

The prime minister will be the first government official to make a statement, the Ministry of Defence will arrange for gun salutes, and a minute of silence for the nation will be announced.

The PM will then meet with the new king, William, who will deliver a broadcast to the nation, much like his father did when Elizabeth died.

For the days leading up to the King’s funeral, there will be several plans in place for different officials to mourn him as his coffin lies in state in Buckingham Palace’s throne room to Westminster Hall.

Charles will be laid to rest in the royal vault in King George VI Memorial Chapel at Windsor Castle.

What changes are made on the royal family’s website after a monarch dies?

The royal family’s website will change to a black holding page with a short statement confirming the King’s death. Getty Images For Clarence House
“All government departmental social media pages will also show a black banner and change their profile pictures to their departmental crest,” reported the Politico. POOL/AFP via Getty Images

According to Politico, the royal family’s website will change to a black holding page with a short statement confirming the King’s death.

“The UK government website — GOV.UK — will display a black banner at the top. All government departmental social media pages will also show a black banner and change their profile pictures to their departmental crest,” the outlet added.

Why do royals need code names?

Code names were originally given to royals to prevent news of their death from leaking to the press before it was officially announced.

Now they have become more common.