The Scottish Parliament is making sure that everything goes smoothly for the Queen's visit to Scotland and has even prepared a secret protocol should she pass away during her stay in the region.
The plan, tagged as Operation Unicorn would immediately suspend business operations at the Scottish Parliament to prioritize the preparation of a state funeral that is expected to become an international affair. According to Express UK, the Queen's Scotland residence Holyrood Palace has also prepared a strategy in dealing with the potential influx of people to the region in case the Queen dies north of the border.
Operation Unicorn was reportedly crafted by the Scottish Parliament's Leadership Group (LG), made up of senior staff members of Holyrood Palace. The existence of the protocol was revealed in the Minutes of the Meeting held in June.
It was said that the plan was first referred to in the Parliament's online papers in 2017 when the LG established a resilience board for disruptive incidents. Operation Unicorn seeks to set measures in place to assure the smooth handling of major incidents such as the Queen's death in Scotland.
Based on the plan, if Queen Elizabeth II passes away in Scotland, the Scottish Parliament will immediately suspend operations to attend to matters of the royal matriarch's funeral. The funeral is expected to take place within ten days at the Holyrood Palace before the coffin is carried to St. Giles Cathedral.
It is also expected that the Royal Train will transport the coffin to London, where the government will have their ceremony. In case the Queen dies in Scotland, the main challenge for the Scottish Parliament is the number of dignitaries and world leaders that will flock to the region to pay their respects. This is why security measures have also been addressed by the protocol.
Operation Unicorn is the Scottish counterpart for the UK's protocol which they tagged Operation London Bridge which was crafted as far back as the 1960s. The plan is reportedly updated three times a year and involves the protocols to be observed by government offices, law enforcement, and the media in case Queen Elizabeth II passes away.
It was reported that Queen Elizabeth II spends around three months a year at Balmoral, the Scottish holiday home of the Royal Family. While the royal matriarch appears healthy and in good spirits, the royal houses are preparing for any eventuality. The Queen celebrated her 93rd birthday last April.