Ministers rehearse for Queen’s death for first time in secret exercise

Government ministers have rehearsed for the Queen’s death for the first time in an “unprecedented” exercise to prepare for 10 days of national mourning, it has been reported.

Cabinet ministers and Whitehall officials this week met for the exercise, apparently known as Castle Dove, to discuss ‘D+1’, the day after the monarch’s death, according to the Sunday Times.

According to the newspaper, Theresa May’s deputy David Lidington chaired the meeting on Thursday which was also attended by home secretary Sajid Javid, leader of the commons Andrea Leadsom and Scottish secretary David Mundell.

The meeting is said to have focused on the day after the Queen’s death with ministers deciding when the prime minister would make public statements.

It is not thought to have been prompted by any specific concerns about the monarch’s health.

A source was quoted by the Sunday Times as saying the scale of the exercise was “unprecedented” and that it was the first time different ministers had come together in one room to discuss it.
A Cabinet minister was quoted by the newspaper as saying that things had been “stepped up because of the ageing process”.

Operation London Bridge is widely understood to be the codename that refers to the plans for what will happen in the days after the death of the Queen.

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