Cockburn is saddened by the news emerging from Britain about Queen Elizabeth II earlier, after Buckingham Palace announced that they were "concerned for her health."
The Palace statement said, “Following further evaluation this morning, the Queen's doctors are concerned for Her Majesty's health and have recommended she remain under medical supervision," adding, "the Queen remains comfortable and at Balmoral."
After the news, king-in-waiting Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall made their way to Balmoral, the Queen's Scotland home. They were followed shortly after by Prince William and his wife Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge. The Queen's other...

Cockburn is saddened by the news emerging from Britain about Queen Elizabeth II earlier, after Buckingham Palace announced that they were “concerned for her health.”

The Palace statement said, “Following further evaluation this morning, the Queen’s doctors are concerned for Her Majesty’s health and have recommended she remain under medical supervision,” adding, “the Queen remains comfortable and at Balmoral.”

After the news, king-in-waiting Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall made their way to Balmoral, the Queen’s Scotland home. They were followed shortly after by Prince William and his wife Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge. The Queen’s other children, Anne, Andrew and Edward are also on their way to Balmoral. In addition, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, in London this week, are making the journey north.

The ninety-six-year-old became the second-longest serving sovereign monarch in history earlier this month, having been on the throne for over sixty years.

Speaking to his colleagues across the Pond, Cockburn sensed an overwhelming feeling of dread. After all, any Brit under the age of seventy has had the same monarch throughout their lifetime.

Having seen twelve US presidents, Her Majesty the Queen is the true embodiment of stability. She once admitted in a speech that her husband, the late Prince Philip, had been her “strength and stay throughout all these years.” For many in Britain, she served in a similar capacity.

In the sad event of the Queen’s death, a plan called Operation London Bridge kicks into gear. A Guardian investigation revealed what this entails: the prime minister will be woken, if she is not already awake, and civil servants will say “London Bridge is down” on secure lines. From the Foreign Office’s Global Response Centre, at an undisclosed location in the capital, the news will go out to the governments outside the UK where the Queen is also the head of state, and the other nations of the Commonwealth for whom she has served as a symbolic figurehead:

For a time, she will be gone without our knowing it. The information will travel like the compressional wave ahead of an earthquake, detectable only by special equipment. Governors general, ambassadors and prime ministers will learn first. Cupboards will be opened in search of black armbands, three-and-a-quarter inches wide, to be worn on the left arm.

After that, planning for Prince Charles’s coronation, nicknamed “Operation Golden Orb,” will begin. The day will take place in Westminster Abbey in London, the traditional spot for coronations for the past 900 years. But it is likely that there will be a period of twelve months before he is officially sworn in. Why? Because that is seen as a suitable period for mourning, and because the ceremony is so extensive it takes about that time to plan.

Brits will take the news about their queen’s health hard — but there’s also a lot of love for her on our side of the Atlantic. Heritage Foundation VP James Jay Carafano summarized this well, saying: “Let’s be clear why Americans revere the British Queen- for decades she has been the GREATEST champion, defender, and supporter of freedom and democracy in Britain, and a voice for freedom and liberty around the world. She is the best of all of us.”