The hunt is on for the culprit behind the Operation London Bridge leak after palace officials said they were “deeply frustrated” by the breach.
The Cabinet Office is already investigating the publication of the Queen’s funeral plans by the political website, Politico.
The leak, presumed to have come from Whitehall, could lead to an official government probe.
Cabinet Secretary Simon Case, who previously worked for Prince William, is not expected to make a decision on a formal investigation before next week.
But one government source told the Mirror: “Neither the Palace nor the Government are particularly happy when leaks of this nature occur.
AFP via Getty Images)
“But it is more annoying than damaging to the plans.”
The leak will be a huge embarrassment for Prime Minister Boris Johnson this weekend as he and his family spend time with the Queen on the traditional summer visit to Balmoral.
He will face questions over how the full 10-day programme for what happens after her death came to be published for the first time in granular detail.
Extraordinary details from confidential memos reveal fears that London will become “full” as millions of people flock to the capital to pay their respects.
The plans also reveal that, after being proclaimed King, Prince Charles will then embark on a tour of the UK in Operation Spring Tide.
Sources said there was a “major appetite” to discover who leaked the documents and what their motivation was.
The plans were leaked after being updated during the pandemic.
A Cabinet Office source said: “We will look into which version has emerged and be able to determine whether this dereliction of duty requires a formal government investigation.
“At the very least, it is concerning, unnecessary and upsetting.”
There is no suggestion the Queen, 95, is in poor health, but palace aides and Government officials will liaise over the leak.
The information was known only by a select few officials and specialist reporters.
But the plans are also sent to police, local councils, Whitehall departments and the Royal Household in varying levels of detail.
One royal source said: “It is deeply disturbing that such private information, which is not only deeply personal to the Queen but also has widespread security implications, has been revealed.”
Royal biographer Angela Levin said the leak was “awful and cruel”.
Labour MP Neil Coyle said: “The Queen has served our country with such distinction and deserves to have this sensitive issue treated with dignity and respect.
“It is trashy and deeply offensive to leak such information. An inquiry needs to expose the culprit so they can be sacked.”
‘Those guilty of such an exposure of intensely private information may wish to ask themselves what their motives could possibly be’
– by Royal Editor Russell Myers
The publication in full of secret plans in the event of the Queen’s death lays out in extraordinary detail how the world will face a new era.
Fevered phone calls, a rush to lower flags within 10 minutes, hundreds of dignitaries arriving from around the world and intense police fears on the capital becoming overcapacity, encapsulate what a truly momentous event it will be.
The Queen has been faced with the bizarre and truly uncomfortable situation of having her funeral plans published to the world, causing more than a degree of frustration among palace courtiers and officials.
Whitehall is to launch an immediate inquiry into the leak of closely guarded plans, long known by a select band of officials and specialist reporters, jointly bound by a shared understanding of the dangers of such revelations.
Across Government departments and the security services there will be fears over anything that could derail the organisation of such a seismic global event.
Privately, there are obvious concerns for the Queen over yet another blow after 18 months largely spent in isolation, scandal and drama between her children and grandchildren and saying goodbye to her beloved husband Prince Philip.
Those guilty of such an exposure of intensely private information may wish to ask themselves what their motives could possibly be.