Here's What Every Secret Code-Word in the Royal Family Means
Marie Claire 2hrs ago

It's fair to say that when you're part of the Royal Family, things are done a little differently. And even death is no exception.

So you won't be shocked to learn that each senior member has an assigned code name for when the eventual does happen, and the news needs to be broken between household members, family and the military before it becomes public knowledge.

When you're as major as the Queen, your funeral is also planned way before you die. Or in Her Majesty's case, 60 years and counting. Yep, Queen Elizabeth II has had her funeral laid out since the 1960s, and there's even several dress rehearsals every year to make sure everything runs smoothly when the time comes. How cheery.

If you're a fan of The Crown, you'll probably already be familiar with some of the code names that are used to break the news - which usually comes from a private secretary.

In one episode in season 4, we get a dramatized glimpse of Charles' near-death experience on a ski slope when an avalanche strikes, and hear his code name, "Operation Menai Bridge" for the first time, as he's presumed dead.

Diana, Princess of Wales et al. that are standing in the snow: Charles was presumed dead after a skiing accident in 1988. © Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images Charles was presumed dead after a skiing accident in 1988.

Menai Bridge is the name of a suspension bridge in Wales, and as Charles is the Prince of Wales, it makes sense.

But, every code name when it comes to death, is that of a bridge—mostly for simplicity.

Outside of that, there are a couple of other names on the palace radar, however. These are mostly used for Royal visits, holidays abroad, and generally keeping the family safe when discussing them over hackable radio systems.

So, do you know your Sharon from your Daphne? Your London Bridge from your Tay Bridge? let's take a look at the Royal Family's code names...

The Queen

Elizabeth II wearing a hat: The Queen has a number of code names, depending on the circumstances. © Victoria Jones - WPA Pool/Getty Images The Queen has a number of code names, depending on the circumstances.

As the most senior member of the Royal Family, Her Majesty the Queen has a few different code names, naturally.

When she's going out and about, it's of the upmost importance for the police and military to keep her safe (she's 94 after all!), and for that—she's known as Sharon.

While it may seem hilarious on the surface, using such an ordinary name deters anyone who may have hacked the radio waves looking for insider info on the royal. Generally, they'll just refer to her as 'S' though. Very Gossip Girl.

When it comes to death, the Queen has arguably the most powerful code name of all.

Operation London Bridge.

The Queen's private secretary will be the one responsible for informing people of importance and kicking planned protocol into action, by declaring "London Bridge is down."

Prince Philip

Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh wearing a suit and tie: The Transfer Of The Colonel-In-Chief Of The Rifles © Samir Hussein/ Samir Hussein/WireImage The Transfer Of The Colonel-In-Chief Of The Rifles

The Duke of Edinburgh, AKA Prince Philip is still thriving at 99 years old. However, when he does pass away, the reference used for his funeral will be "Operation Forth Bridge."

The actual Forth Bridge is a bridge in Edinburgh, Scotland—and as he's the Duke of Edinburgh, he's been given a bridge to match.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge

Prince William, Duke of Cambridge et al. standing in front of a coat: The Duke And Duchess Of Cambridge Visit Ireland - Day Two © Pool/Samir Hussein The Duke And Duchess Of Cambridge Visit Ireland - Day Two

While William and Kate don't have funeral code names, they do have an alias that they use when they go on holiday or on royal tours.

Making them sound a little more plain Jane than a Duke and Duchess, they're therefore known as Daphne Clark and Danny Collins.

Both names have the initials "DC" which of course stand for the Duke/Duchess of Cambridge, and William shares his with an Al Pacino movie—although they're not thought to be connected.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

Prince Harry, Meghan Markle are posing for a picture: Commonwealth Day Service 2020 © Samir Hussein/WireImage Commonwealth Day Service 2020

Despite no longer being working members of the Royal Family, Prince Harry and Meghan did have code names before they left.

Introducing: Davina Scott and David Stevens.

They definitely sound like a Hollywood power couple.

But the pair used the names before they fled the UK for California, mostly for Royal visits and vacations.

Prince Charles

Prince Charles standing next to a man in a suit and tie: The Prince Of Wales And Duchess Of Cornwall Visit Northern Ireland © Ian Vogler - WPA Pool/Getty Images The Prince Of Wales And Duchess Of Cornwall Visit Northern Ireland

As next in line to the throne, Prince Charles has inherited not one, but three different code names across his life.

The first, and arguably most unexpected, is Unicorn.

That's right, the glittering, mythical creature was actually the nickname of our future King when he visited the United States in 1971. While there's no official reasoning behind it, we definitely think he's got a thing for rainbows and sparkles.

When Prince Charles does eventually become the King, there are a lot of protocols in place, as you can imagine.

It will be the first British coronation ceremony since 1953, and it will be huge. In fact, they've already started rehearsing for when it does happen. That being said, it deserves its own name, and it's been dealt Operation Golden Orb.

During the ceremony, Charles will make his vow to God using a gold ball topped with a cross, resembling an orb, which is how the name came to be.

But after his 1988 skiing incident where he went missing, the family also have to be prepared for the worst case scenario.

And despite already being used once (then thankfully being found alive), Prince Charles' death will be known as Operation Menai Bridge, after the Welsh suspension bridge, and him of course, being the Prince of Wales.

Princess Diana

Diana, Princess of Wales holding a baby: Diana, Princess of Wales with her sons, Prince William and P © Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images Diana, Princess of Wales with her sons, Prince William and P

If you've been keeping up to date with The Crown, you'll know that Princess Diana collaborated with journalist Andrew Morton on a book about her life as someone married into the Royal Family.

The book was such a huge secret, that it even got its own secretive moniker: Noah.

The name was inspired by Morton's being described in a media report as "notable author and historian"—and Diana came up with it herself. Clever.

Show More
Latest News
20 must-read health books
The Health section of your local bookstore or online book retailer looks different than it did a couple of decades ago, when titles like Food-Free at Last: How I Learned to Eat Air or The South Beach Diet Supercharged were popular picks. Still today, authors—including would-be physicians, B-list celebs and underqualified fitness experts—dole out “health advice,” trying to convince readers that running themselves ragged with dieting and strenuous exercise will make them thinner, prettier, and happier. In fact, it has had an adverse effect, especially on women. The cruel dieting culture, incessant calorie counting, and little to no representation of health experts from diverse communities, along with the unrealistic standards set by the beauty and fashion industries, have led to eating disorders and severe mental health issues. Today, coupled with wellness, the topics covered in health and well-being books focus more on making healthy choices daily, keeping active, practising self-care, and being mindful of our mental health. Thanks to the body positivity movement, and some notable influencers in this space, we know that healthy bodies come in all shapes and sizes. This is also a time when we are hearing from more underrepresented voices in this space, making health advice and wellness tips more inclusive and relevant for all. Start the new year off with motivation, stories, and advice on how to live a healthier, happier life that works for you. Get moving by adding these 20 must-read health books to your cart.
5 Minutes| Espresso