Life goes on – it certainly does. No sooner had Queen Elizabeth II
died, than her eldest son, Charles, became king. King Charles lll.
I admit that I find it hard to think of him as “king” – it all happened so fast. But that is the way of royalty. The queen is dead. Long live the king! I’m sure I’ll get used to it, but it will take time!
I didn’t get up early in the morning to watch the live TV coverage of the events leading to the burial of the queen. But I did look at a lot of later coverage. I was duly impressed with the pageantry and the affection shown to the queen by everyday Brits and people who traveled to London to see the funeral. It was astounding and quite beautiful. They know how to do it!
It’s estimated that more people the ever watched the coverage, both on television (4 billion!) and in person. People lined up by the thousands – 400,000 and more – to see as much as they could. There were people of all ages who just wanted to see with their own eyes the changing of the guard, as it were, and give their last respects to the woman who, for most, was their queen for their whole lives.
Many also had the opportunity to greet their new king, as Charles
did get out there to mix with people, and many had the opportunity to shake his hand. That will be an event they’ll remember!
As only the British can, the pomp and circumstance were amazing. Marching bands, military, royal carriages and royalty from around the world. I remain so impressed that such spectacle could be carried off with virtually no problems – at least, if there were, we didn’t see them!
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It’s reported that the provisions for security were the highest on record, yet they weren’t visible from the street. There were the police and the military and sharpshooters along the roof tops of all the buildings along the procession. Fortunately, it all went according to plan and there were no disruptions.
The event brought together the members of the royal family – those who get along and those who don’t. News coverage could not resist the inside gossip about the relations between Prince Harry and Meghan and the rest of the family. It isn’t good, and the future promises to be even rougher for them. Whatever is the real reason for the friction felt between Meghan and the family, Prince Harry is caught in the middle, and he clearly does not know how to handle it.
The down-to-earth humanity of Queen Elizabeth was also visible. There was extra attention to her pet corgis, Muick and Sandy – the two favorite dogs she had at the end. They were present along the parade route, and it is reported that Sarah, the Duchess of York (Fergie), and her ex-husband Prince Andrew will care for the animals.
The queen’s favorite horse, Emma, the black Fell Pony, which she rode regularly, was also there, standing along the long walk leading to Windsor Castle. The horse had the queen’s sheepskin saddle, and across it was one of her favorite headscarves that she wore while riding. Emma was there with her head groom, Terry Pendy, who stood with her as the procession moved toward the castle. As the carriage with the casket passed by, the horse raised its front foot, as though in her honor. It was as though she knew who was in that carriage.
Planning ahead, the queen herself had worked out most of the details of how her funeral would be carried out. She was meticulous in handling the details, and judging by what we saw, it all worked out perfectly. She died at Balmoral Castle in Scotland, her casket was then taken to Westminster Abbey, then to Wellington Arch and finally to Windsor Castle, where she was laid to rest in St. George Chapel next to Prince Philip, her husband; Princess Margaret, her sister; and her parents, King George VI and the queen mother.
One of the thoughts directed at the queen as she was being laid to rest was “Just to let you know you were loved, and you will be so greatly missed.”
One of the last comments as she was being laid to rest in the abbey was a quote from Hamlet: “May flights of angels sing thee to thy rest.”
Beautiful thoughts for a beautiful woman who led a beautiful life. We should all be so honored.
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