What the Queen’s Funeral Taught Me About Britain
I naturally went to check out the line. Since last week, when mourners lined up for up to 24 hours to visit Elizabeth II's coffin at Westminster Hall, the south bank of London's River Thames has been turned into a living art project.
British folks, according to an old joke, can't look at a line without wanting to cross it. We proven it with hundreds of thousands of people. married couples, families with kids, travellers, ex-soldiers, and David Beckham. There was no human life at all.
It was pleasant but brisk outside. The British autumn is a season of contrasts; one day in September, you leave the home and the air bites you even if the sky is still clear. The time of year is ideal for funerals.
In British airports, travellers paused to watch the ceremony on television. Flowers were thrown in front of the hearse as people lined the highways leading to Windsor, where the coffin was being transported for burial.
Britain enjoys luxuriating in its own story of collapse, but by God, we can put on a show. Wow, we're good at this was the most common text I received from family and friends.
Businesses that attempted to combine branding with grief invariably made a fool of themselves. Companies struggled to comprehend what was required of them but were aware that some sort of reverence was expected of them.
In everyday British life, the Royal Family typically serves as a backdrop, but since becoming king, the new monarch has been visible everywhere. Elizabeth II's remark that she had to "be seen to be believed" was, in fact, noted by the entire family.
Charles III made a point of travelling to Northern Ireland and then Wales at a time when the British unity appears to be in peril. Because his mother passed away at Balmoral, her casket had already been laid to rest there.
Only once were Charles' maturity and temperament questioned. After video captured him becoming irate about a fountain pen for the second time that week, he took a day off in the middle of the grieving period.
The actual funeral was bizarre. There were so many things that stood out. The foreign leaders were forced by the British government to travel on a bus, just like students on the longest school trip ever.
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