Tuesday, September 20, 2022

The Queen's Funeral

The droning sound of the solemn funeral march music, bells tolling, and the glum faces of everyone - the elderly royals in particular - taking part in the arduous funeral procession as it slowly trundled back and forth was quite a sight to behold (especially watching the processing turning corners - wow... that's a thing of beauty). A very very sad moment in time is the most fitting way to describe it.


What saved the moment from slipping into being depressing though was that it looked to be a sunny / fine weather day in London. It's very fortunate that the day had not turned out to involve torrential rain - that would've made a sad situation overwhelmingly depressing.

Especially striking was the radiant sunshine as Her Majesty departed London in her custom Jaguar hearse for the last time, flanked by miles of her people - 10, 20 people deep in places, some way up embankment, others throwing roses on to the road as the convoy passed. That sunshine was as if it Queen were smiling down on us, reminding us that while it was a sad occasion, it was also a time to celebrate a long life well lived.

As the BBC commentators noted, it had been raining the last few days, but late the day before, the rain had cleared and there had been a rainbow in the sky - much like shortly after Her Majesty's death had been announced.

Another interesting piece of commentary around this time is how the procession passed by so many London landmarks (I agree - it was a fabulous tourism advertisement for the UK - Makes me want to head over there for a visit even more in a few years time, once the pandemic definitely winds down) including the Royal Albert Hall, which had been built by Queen Victoria in memory of her beloved husband. It's indeed worth wondering what sort of monument the world might want to construct in Queen Elizabeth II's honour. 

(Speaking of the Royal Albert Hall, after wondering about it for a few years, in the span of the last few weeks, I've seen a lot more of it - thanks in part to a fascinating Tom Scott video about the roof structure)

Picking up another point from earlier, when the Brits do formal pageantry, they really do turn it on. Never before have I seen so many of the royal guard uniforms in such detail - and some of those are quite spectacular - from those golden flocked trumpeters, the red yeomen (?) with the white line patterns, to those ones taking part in the procession dressed in what looked like shields / coats of arms crossed with a dalek. It was also interesting seeing some of the beefeaters with blue lowers stuck on the right side of their hats - wonder what the story is there.

As an important moment in world history, really nothing gets bigger than the events we witnessed last night. A really momentous occasion, where the whole world was gathered together in grief and respect for a much loved, long serving, and unique monarch. May you soul rest in piece Your Majesty. Thank you for everything. Farewell. 


One final note is that this marks an interesting point in the world's battle with Covid. Seeing all these crowds gathered together again, with barely any face masks in sight anymore - it's like we're seeing the world finally celebrating the vanquishing of Covid. Watching the events last night unfold, it is hard to believe what might have happened if the Queen had ended up dying last year, or even a few months ago. How would that have affected the world's ability to properly mourn her passing and to give her a proper send off? (Lots of people have passed away over the past few years, and have had to be farewelled in really heartbreaking ways, if at all).

So it's rather fortunate that when the Queen died, it was when the weather was still temperate, the pandemic was in remission, and the UK economy was in dire need of a boost in light of a looming energy crisis, and/or enduring summer of cost of living pains. In this sense, even in death, Her Majesty still performed one last duty for her people.

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