Guidance and information

"operation London Bridge"

Updated 13th September,20.57 pm


Following the sad announcement of the passing of Her Majesty the Queen yesterday, 8th September 2022, SALC are providing councils with information and guidance as part of long-made plans for this eventuality.  These have been developed to ensure consistency and reference both national and local plans so that there is a managed response across the County.  These plans are known as Operation London Bridge (OLB).

On receiving the news of the death of the Sovereign OLB Plans should be put in place immediately.  Your council may already have some plans and therefore these resources will act as a cross-reference. However, if your council does not have any plans, your council may want to know what actions it could take and the associated protocols.  

The guidance makes reference to pages in this OLB summary document which contains detailed information around protocols, location of books of condolences and the official timetable.     

Guidance notes and checklist

Download the guidance notes and checklist here - it contains information about flags, books of condolences, areas for floral tributes, the County Proclamation and local Proclamations, attendance / cancellation of events. 

Link to suitable photos for your website/social media

HRH Queen Elizabeth - link to photo

Queen header - no logo - link to photo

Queen header - link to photo

More photos (recently shared with SALC) - link to folder

Do not be concerned if your website won't take a photograph - it is not essential to include this in your tribute.  If you have social media accounts please make sure you update them too.

Flag flying guidance

Following the death of Her Majesty The Queen, all official flags, including the Union Jack, should be half-masted as soon as possible until 08.00 the day following the Queen's State Funeral.  See this news story from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and the Cabinet Office.  Please also see this revised schedule for Suffolk recently published to provide further clarification.

Books of condolences and floral tributes

In addition to the information contained in the OLB Summary Document there will be electronic books available - check the County Council website for details.   Where there is a desire to have a local book of condolence you may wish to liaise with your local church. 

Floral tributes may also be laid at dedicated locations across the county - please remember to remove any plastic wrapping beforehand.  See this location map on the Suffolk County Council website. 

Moment of reflection - Sunday 18th September

The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) are suggesting consideration is given to organising a Moment of Reflection on the eve of the Queen's funeral - Sunday 18th September at 8pm.  A Letter from the Permanent Secretary at DLUHC,  Jeremy Pocklington,  to Chief Executive Officers at Local Authorities,  is available to view by using this link.

In support the National Association of Civic Officers (NACO) have also asked that this request is shared across the local council sector adding that "organising these gatherings is entirely optional and everyone is free to devise their own form of wording to suit their own local needs.  However this document has been circulated to NACO members and we have permission to share -  it gives just one possible format.    Councils are encouraged to share this  as widely as they wish, noting it is not a definitive order of ceremony, but a suggested approach for people who wish to organise their own gatherings, whether in their street, outside their block of flats, in a park or on their village green."

We have been given some additional photos which may also be of use. Use this link to folder.

The BBC is providing local communities a TV Licence dispensation to communities who may wish to come together and observe the funeral of Her Majesty The Queen.  The dispensation will allow any communal setting where TV is not usually watched, such as town halls, community centres and libraries across the UK, to screen the live programmes without needing to purchase a licence.  By law, if live television or BBC iPlayer is viewed on any premises, those premises must be covered by a TV licence.  However, in exceptional circumstances, the BBC can grant a dispensation for the temporary viewing of television, so long as the viewing is for the sole purpose of screening an event which is judged by the BBC to be of national importance.

Council meetings

Under s.243, Local Government Act 1972, days falling during the period of National Mourning (9th to 19th September) cannot be counted in the statutory notice period three clear days' public notice required of meetings.  This means that any meetings scheduled to take place during this period (and effectively the following week) must be re-scheduled, unless three clear days' notice was achieved by 8th September.

It should be noted that if the required notice had already been given prior to 9th September, there is no provision for meetings to be postponed (unless the circumstances make it impossible for the meeting to be held) when members have been summonsed, and such meetings should proceed as planned.

Where a meeting does take place, members should wear a black tie or armband and the Chair of the meeting may invite attendees to observe a minute's silence at the start of the meeting.

Other events

The decision on the appropriateness of holding other events is a matter for the council to decide locally, and one which needs to be reached with great sensitivity.  It is impossible to create hard and fast rules around cancelling events which fall in the period between a death and the funeral.  There are so many unknowns - the sense of public shock, anger and bewilderment and in these circumstances it is important to mark such matters in a dignified, solemn and appropriate manner.

Dress code

Members and Senior Officers on official council business should wear dark clothing including a black tie when appropriate.   Civic chains of office will not be worn for the period of public mourning; instead badges of office will be worn on black neck ribbons from D-Day until and including the day of the Funeral.

Marking a silence

To mark the death of The Sovereign there will be a Two Minute silence at 1100 hours on the day of the funeral.

Photographs and official portraits of Her Majesty

According to guidance for the public and businesses on the period of National Mourning following the demise of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, (use this link to access the document) - on page 5, it is not necessary to cover or remove existing official portraits or photographs in your organisation of Her Majesty as a mark of respect.  It is the custom to leave these in place, at the discretion of the organisation.  For example, you will still see in many older public buildings official portraits on display of King George VI and other previous monarchs.

Suffolk proclamations - 11th September

On Sunday 11th September there were 23 local Proclamations of the reign of His Majesty King Charles III.  Citizens of Suffolk were encouraged to attend and it saw hundreds of people gather across our communities. 


Please raise any follow up questions through the member portal.  We will update this page with frequently asked questions should the guidance and information need clarification.  

Other useful sources of information

Suffolk County Council - link to website

Lord Lieutenancy of Suffolk - link to website

Babergh/Mid Suffolk District Council - link to website

West Suffolk Council -  link to website

East Suffolk Council - link to website

National Association of Civic Officers - link to website

Royal Family Official - link to website

Diocesan - link to website

The Flag Institute - link to website