A huge amount of work went into making the expansive Operation London Bridge, the funeral plan for Queen Elizabeth II, run smoothly and demonstrate to the world the expertise and professionalism of the UK event industry.

Core members of the team that oversaw the project reunited at EPS for the Access All Areas conference to take listeners behind the scenes and shine a light on the remarkable amount of work, including numerous ground-breaking measures, that was involved. For some it was the culmination of 20-years of preparation.


The Panel:

Arcadis commission director Debbie Knellar: Arcadis is contracted to the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and has a management framework with it to undertake major ceremonial events. On Operation London Bridge that meant working as the event manager in conjunction with LS Events for London and parts of Windsor. It also had a team in Edinburgh where it was contracted to the Scottish Government with responsibility for the Queen’s lying in state and the infrastructure involved. Debbie’s role in London as commission director was to oversee the lying in state infrastructure and the operation of it, along with all of the infrastructure in relation to the media and the public address system.

LS Events co-CEO Steve Reynolds: LS Events was hired as the event management agency on behalf of the Greater London Authority (GLA), covering areas of responsibility including the overarching event management plan, and the operational delivery of public safety and crowd management.

Greater London Authority major ceremonials manager Sophie Scowen: Sophie looked after the London governance, which involved all of the meetings that coordinated all London’s agencies in response to Operation London Bridge, and feeding that into the national government structures. Her team were also responsible for the delivery of the ceremonial footprint.

Sunbelt Rentals UK national business development director Geoff Fawkes: Geoff’s team was responsible for supplying the temporary infrastructure rental equipment needed for such a large-scale event at very short notice.

Westminster City Council special projects Katherine Eaton: Katherine was involved in chairing the city operations, as part of the wider London governance structure, and from a local authority perspective making sure plans were in place to support the delivery of the event. It involved more than 30 local authority departments and contractors, and hundreds of staff pulling together.