NEW plans have been revealed for “Operation London Bridge” after the Queen passes away.
Leatherworks all over Britain are being asked to prepare to make more muffles for church bells in preparation for the Monarch’s death.
As part of Operation London Bridge, on Her Majesty’s funeral and death an hour's muted chimes will ring out.
The majority of Britain's 16,000 churches have never run bells that are fully muffled since the death of King George VI, the Queen’s dad.
Central Council of Church Bell Ringers spokeswoman Vicki Chapman told the Mail on Sunday: “We have spent a lot of time talking to the Royal Household and Lambeth Palace about the day the Monarch passes, which we hope will not be any time soon.
“Adding muffles makes bells sound mournful, more like a hum –so they will sound like thud, thud, thud rather than dong, dong, dong.
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“It is about paying due reverence to the service of the Monarch and commemorating her life.”
Leatherworks all over the country have reported a rise in bulk orders for the specialist products.
Philip Pratt of Big Wilf's Bell Muffles near Bristol, added: “A lot of enquiries are coming in and we are taking on more and more orders.
“Muffles are a specialist product and only a very few leather manufacturers in the UK make them.”
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Full muffles are used to dampen the sound of both strokes of the bell’s clapper, and are reserved only for the Monarch’s death.
Bells are sometimes rung half-muffled with one stroke muted for Remembrance Sunday and funerals.
A church with six bells would need 12 muffles, at a cost of about £45 each.
Her Majesty, 95, has recently pulled out of an Easter service at St George's Chapel in Windsor on April 14, but she will instead be represented by Prince Charles and Camilla.
It is the first time the Prince of Wales will take the Queen's place at the Maundy Day church service.
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The annual event is an important fixture in the royal calendar and will see Charles follow the ancient tradition of distributing Maundy money to community stalwarts on Thursday.
He and Camilla will meet the Dean of Windsor, The Right Reverend David Conner KCVO and the Lord High Almoner, the Right Reverend Dr. John Inge.
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