Editor’s note: Pink Prince He is the editor of The House magazine. He is a former assistant political editor of The Daily Telegraph and author of ‘Theresa May: The Enigmatic Prime Minister’ and ‘Comrade Corbyn: A Very Unlikely Coup’. The opinions expressed in this comment are his own. See more reviews on CNN.
It was a service for a great queen, a world leader whose long shadow loomed over our age, and at the same time a touching and almost intimate tribute to a beloved mother, grandmother and great-grandmother.
A lavish and lavish funeral for Queen Elizabeth II brought Britain to a standstill. It inspired 100 heads of state to travel to London – joining a congregation of 2,000 in Westminster Abbey – and inspired millions around the world to pause and watch the ceremonies of a departed sovereign.
As the late Queen lies buried next to her husband Prince Philip in St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle, Britain closes a chapter on its past, paying tribute to wartime comrades who saw this country’s finest hour, rallying as they did. The spirit of 1940, when Britain stood alone against fascism, unabashed and unbowed.
The tenor bell of the abbey rang 96 times As the rulers matured, one for each year of the king’s life, it was much more than a number for his subjects.
During her seven decades on the throne, only the elderly remembered a time before Elizabeth’s age. However, the death of a woman who achieved such longevity meant that the funeral was marked by respect and fear rather than tragedy; there was none of the raw grief that accompanied the death of his former daughter Princess Diana, who had perished in horrific circumstances almost a quarter of a century earlier in a car wreck on a Paris underpass. 36 years
The Queen’s 10 days of mourning have been feared, driven by two questions: what will the future hold under King Charles III, and what does his mother’s support mean for Britain’s place in the world?
Queen Elizabeth II inherited from her father, King George VI, a country that still claimed an empire, with 70 territories around the world. Although he oversaw a successful transition to a more egalitarian Commonwealth of Nations, it is hard not to see his reign as one that steadily eroded the UK’s place on the world stage.
His death, perhaps, heralds another revolution. The soft power that Elizabeth gave the UK was powerful; A group of world statesmen, US President Joe Biden and South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, Brazilian leader Jair Bolsonaro and Prime Minister Jacinda asked what other world leaders could have ordered at their funerals. New Zealand’s Ardern?
But with republican sentiment rising across the Commonwealth – and, whisper it, maybe at home too – will the same happen when the time comes to say goodbye to King Charles III?
Or further down the line of succession, his son William, his grandson George? Will they (would anyone?) have the universal admiration and praise inspired by Queen Elizabeth II.
When he ascended the throne, the great wartime leader Winston Churchill returned to Downing Street; unfortunately, he would become his prime minister. When Churchill died over 10 years later both rivers were said to pass through London; Apart from the Thames, his body was lined with people walking in the streets in the 11th century of Parliament.
In the five days before her funeral, that river once again flowed to Elizabeth II, Churchill’s young queen, a living embodiment of the return link to war, a reminder that Britain had once been great, and could be again.
During those days and nights, the nation’s attention was focused on the hours-long queue to pass his coffin, where Churchill had stood nearly six decades earlier.
The “queue” – which won in capital letters on the second day – became a microcosm of the Queen’s reign and attitudes towards the monarchy.
He was stoic, uncomplaining, self-sacrificing and above all long, very, very long. Those in line waited up to 24 hours to say goodbye.
By the time the line closed, an estimated 300,000 had passed the queen’s coffin, the line’s jovial spirit suddenly abated as mourners reached the echoing cavern of the wood-paneled Westminster Hall, where Charles I was tried and sentenced to death. Henry VIII may have played tennis with Elizabeth his parents and grandparents were in front of him.
The fact that the queen had given 70 years of duty and service was the kingdom that was repeated over and over again; to them sacrificing a day or night in mild discomfort was a just tribute.
According to polls, by the end of his reign, around 25% of the public no longer wanted to live in a monarchy, with young people less keen than their elders on an unelected head of state.
It was a point of view that was outside the national debate during the 10 days of official mourning.
But while even the most ardent republican would admit admiration for the Queen’s long years of service and sympathy for her family, it was not difficult to see what some saw as overreactionary elements: curry restaurants and pet shops. Posting sad messages on social media was harmless enough, but was it really necessary to close food banks and cancel cancer treatments?
The concept of Britain without a monarchy was far from the minds of most, however, on the day of the Queen’s funeral. Many reported feeling moved, often unexpectedly, as millions watched mesmerized as the national spectacle of mourning unfolded: religion, politics, and the military all played along with the grieving family.
At the end of the service, she entered the magnificent abbey as a bride in 1947 and, like all English monarchs beginning with King Edgar in the 10th century, was duly crowned in 1953 by the still unknown “God”. Save the King” played.
In the front pew, the man they were greeting, King Charles III, stood red-eyed, almost shell-shocked with the weight of responsibility now falling on his shoulders.
Then, as the late royal left the capital for the last time, the cannon headed for Windsor, where the ceremony would continue into the evening.
Elizabeth II was the greatest queen our time has known, in the 20th century. The defining figure of the 19th century and the beginning of the 21st century. A bit of Britain’s fame has been buried with him: his heirs and his people hope that something new, different, but no less powerful, can be born in his memory.