A curious fascination


MANY of us – at least those of us with Astro or a laptop – probably spent several hours watching the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II last Monday evening. As a spectacle, a showcase of royal adat istiadat, it was peerless. Who could not be fascinated by the colourful uniforms won by solemn soldiers and sailors, the precision by which the entire event was orchestrated, the touches of sentimentality such as the bouquet of flowers from the royal gardens on the coffin and the appearance of her pet corgis and favourite horse?

We watched awestruck by the Queue, that seemingly endless stream of people lining up to pay their respects to the Queen at Westminster Hall. It seems unimaginable to us that anyone would wait ten to twelve hours just for a few seconds of homage but there they were, thousands of them. They weren’t even limited to the queue-habitual Brits; there were people from all over the world including former colonies. The BBC interviewed a group of six women from Texas who had decided, as soon as the doctors were concerned about the Queen’s health, to book a girls’ trip to London to be part of the queue. I suppose in a way they’re right: we can now no longer say that we’re going to London to see the Queen.

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