South Hams councillors have been given a step-by-step run down on how to behave in the wake of a royal death.

Totnes town councillors were presented with a 15-page document on what to do on the death of a major royal figure – from how to fly a flag at half mast to who should make the official announcement proclaiming a new crowned head.

The document explained there is a national plan already drawn up over what will happen when a senior figure in the royal family dies.

Councillors were told that national operations are codenamed for the individual members of the royal family.

Operation London Bridge relates to the Queen; Operation Forth Bridge to the Duke of Edinburgh; and Operation Menai Bridge to Prince Charles.

The national operation will swing into action with the announcement that one of the bridges is "down".

The detailed document was put together by town council as part of a standing orders review after councillors asked for the plan of action to be updates.

In Totnes, the town ranger will have to get to work immediately after an announcement - lowering the town’s Union Flags to half mast or running one up the flagpole if there are none flying at the time.

The town council will then be responsible for sorting out a book of condolences for residents to sign at the council offices - although it appears that it is up to South Hams District Council to supply the book, pens and a framed photograph of the deceased royal.

The mayor of the day will be responsible for making a statement "expressing the sadness of the council and the people of Totnes" at the news of the death, which will end up on town noticeboards and the town council website.

During the official time of mourning, the mayor will have to look closely at their official engagement to ensure that they do not take part in any inappropriate activities.

Meanwhile, the council has a supply of black armbands for councillors to wear in the wake of the death.

The document pointed out: "On the death of the sovereign, the Totnes Town Council chains of office will not be worn by the mayor of deputy mayor and instead badges of office will be worn on a black neck ribbon."

Meanwhile, the town maces will have to have a black ribbon tied around them from the day of the death to the royal funeral.

The mayor will also be responsible for reading out the official proclamation of a new monarch which must take place at the front of the Totnes Guildhall with the mayor "to be robed with black rosettes and black gloves".

The VIPs invited to the reading of the proclamation will include town councillors, honoured citizens and freemen of the town, past mayors, police, the town’s fire commander and representatives from faith groups in the town.

The day-by-day detail of what to do from the death to the state funeral was approved by town councillors at their last meeting, as town clerk Catherine Marlton explained: "You have to adopt this and work to it if something happens."