Royal Funerals: How are they planned?

Royal Funerals are unlike any other; bound by tradition and protocol, these large-scale services require a massive amount of forward planning.

Just like a military operation, royal funerals are given a specific codename. Prince Philip’s was Operation Forth Bridge, the Queen’s is known as Operation London Bridge and Prince Charles’ is named Operation Menai Bridge.

royal funerals

Royal funerals for senior family members are planned many years in advance. The Queen’s funeral was developed in the 1960s and is updated several times a year. The detailed royal funeral plan covers everything from the process of reporting her death, to where the Queen will lay in state (dependant on where she passes away).

While protocol dictates some decisions relating to the royal funeral can only be made by her heir, the Queen herself has reportedly made some of the critical decisions, much like Prince Philip.

Although entitled to a state funeral, Prince Philip’s service broke with certain traditions. He requested a low-key service and many of the unique and personal touches that peppered the funeral – such as the choice of medals on the alter and the converted Land Rover hearse – were because of his input.

Prince Philip’s funeral illustrated the importance of funeral pre-planning. When Diana, Princess of Wales died suddenly in 1997, there was no royal funeral plan. Instead, Operation Tay Bridge, the Queen Mother’s plan, was used as the model. Fortunately, the royal funeral plan had been rehearsed for 22 years before it was put into operation.

The importance of planning your funeral in advance can’t be underestimated; arranging the day in advance, down to the very last details, ensures you get the send off you want, and paying for it while you are alive means you’ll fix services at today’s prices.

This eases both the financial and emotional pressure on your family, meaning they won’t have to pay anything towards your special day. To see how Capital Life’s wide range of funeral plans can help you plan your funeral, contact us or call one of our helpful advisors on 0800 411 8688.