King Charles’ funeral plan ‘Operation Menai Bridge’ being kept up to date as reports emerge of worse condition

Max Corstorphan
The Nightly
Plans for King Charles’ funeral are reportedly being kept up to date as the monarch receives treatment for cancer (AP PHOTO)
Plans for King Charles’ funeral are reportedly being kept up to date as the monarch receives treatment for cancer (AP PHOTO) Credit: AP

King Charles III has been crowned for less than a year, but Buckingham Palace officials are already said to be making regular updates to his impending funeral plans.

The news comes as claims emerge that his health is worse than the public is aware.

The 75-year-old, who was crowned at Westminster Abbey in May of 2023, was diagnosed with an undisclosed form of cancer in February this year.

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Since his diagnosis, the once overtly active royal has taken a back seat to focus on his health.

“Of course he is determined to beat it and they are throwing everything at it. Everyone is staying optimistic, but he is really very unwell. More than they are letting on,” a source close to the royal family has told The Daily Beast.

King Charles and Queen Camilla
King Charles has hailed "the bravery of the first responders and emergency services". (AP PHOTO) Credit: AP

The palace has refrained from sharing updates on the monarch’s condition, however, royal commentators and political sources have shared the king was responding well to treatment.

Despite the positive claims, aides of King Charles are reportedly reviewing a comprehensive document outlining his funeral arrangements, known as ‘Operation Menai Bridge’.

“The plans have been dusted off and are actively being kept up to date. It’s no more than what you would expect given the king has been diagnosed with cancer. But the circulation of them has certainly focused minds,” a former staffer with links to the serving courtiers said.

This meticulously detailed plan, initiated immediately after Queen Elizabeth’s burial in 2022, draws from the protocols established during her funeral to ensure smoother formalities for the King.

“Of course they are looking at every aspect of Menai Bridge. The queen’s funeral went like clockwork and set a high bar. It’s not an emotional thing, it’s a job, one taken very seriously, and understandably no one plans to get caught out,” said a senior official involved in the planning of royal funerals.

“That’s just the ceremonial end,” they continued. “Then you need a giant security operation because every VVIP on the planet is there. We’re talking everything from missile defence to guarding against a lone wolf attack.

“The whole thing goes from flash to bang in under two weeks which means every aspect of it needs to be meticulously planned in advance. Serious planning for Charles’ funeral began the day after they buried the queen.”

King Charles
King Charles waves to well wishers as he arrives for an Easter church service at Windsor Castle. (EPA PHOTO) Credit: EPA

Military officials have confirmed the ongoing updates to Operation Menai Bridge but stress that it is standard procedure.

The plan categorises funeral arrangements using bridge-related codewords, with King Charles’ plan named after the Menai Suspension Bridge, located in the town of Menai Bridge, Wales, symbolising his connection to the Welsh mainland and his former duties as the Prince of Wales.

Other names for royal funeral plans over the years have included, Queen Elizabeth II’s Operation London Bridge, Prince Philip’s Operation Forth and the Queen Mother’s Operation Tay Bridge.

Officials involved in the planning emphasize the seriousness and complexity of the task, underscoring the need for meticulous preparation.

From ceremonial arrangements involving the Household Division to security measures against potential threats, every aspect of the funeral is being carefully considered.

Despite requests for comment, officials representing King Charles have not responded.

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