A Famous Sporting Event Is Already Preparing For The Queen's Death

The Rugby League World Cup (RLWC) is set to start this October, having been canceled last year due to the pandemic. Rugby fans will be especially excited for the Men's Final, set to take place at Manchester United's home ground Old Trafford on November 19, 2022 (via Manchester United). But recent plans leaked by The Australian have revealed that organizers have put a contingency plan in place in case Queen Elizabeth II dies "towards the end of the tournament" (via Sydney Morning Herald).

In May 2022, Anthony Albanese was sworn in as Australia's new Prime Minister (via BBC News). Since entering office, Albanese has been briefed on many important matters, including Operation London Bridge — the codename given to the contingency plans for when the queen dies. During this time, The Australian obtained updated details regarding Operation London Bridge, which included two dates for the RLWC final at Old Trafford.

The Rugby League World Cup will be held on this day if Queen Elizabeth II dies during the tournament

According to the leaked brief (via the Sydney Morning Herald), Kensington Palace has briefed organizers of the Rugby League World Cup (RLWC) that should Queen Elizabeth II die near the current date of the Men's Final, it would be acceptable to hold the event on the following Sunday. As the Sydney Morning Herald reports, royal protocol states that Her Majesty's funeral would be held on a Saturday, followed by a week of mourning in the United Kingdom and countries of the Commonwealth — including Australia.

So for the moment, the RLWC Men's Final will either be held on Saturday, November 19, or Sunday, November 20. This contingency plan was confirmed by Andrew Hill, strategic advisor for the southern hemisphere for the RLWC. Every game leading up to the final will be held on a Saturday, which includes five weeks' worth of events between sixteen men's teams, eight women's teams, and eight wheelchair teams, per the Sydney Morning Herald.

There are plans in place for other major sporting events

The Rugby League World Cup isn't the only sporting event with a contingency plan in place should Queen Elizabeth pass away. According to The Guardian, if the monarch were to die during Royal Ascot, which is held in June, the event would be canceled. And suppose a home test match was to be playing at Lord's Cricket Ground. In that case, its owners Marylebone Cricket Club has insurance if her death were to happen during a match.

As Britain's longest-serving monarch, it's unclear how many events would be canceled following the queen's death. But when her father, King George VI, died in 1952, theatres across the U.K. were closed, and sports events, including rugby and hockey, were canceled (via House of Commons Library). Football matches, however, were allowed to go ahead per The Guardian.

Until the time comes, the intricacies of Operation London Bridge will remain under wraps — including cancellations of other major events in the British and Commonwealth calendar.