The state funeral

Royal status cannot protect from death. Today we bid our last farewell to a loved and admired Queen. On her passing so the monarchy lives on,  passing  to her son. She has left a legacy of how to lead a life of service.

The presence of so many Kings and Queens, Presidents and Prime Ministers from around the world is testimony to the reputation for friendliness  and great diplomacy which Elizabeth II enjoyed.

The long procession of so many people to bow their heads to her coffin lying in state in Westminster Hall is proof that her work did not go unmarked or unappreciated.

There is a sense of a passing of an era. She was our national link to the sacrifices and disciplines of life during the Second World War, and a reminder of the hopes she embodied for a peaceful and more prosperous life for many as post war rebuilding got underway. She spoke for us in times of joy and sorrow. Most of us have only known her as our monarch.

She led a Commonwealth that offered support and recognition for countries leaving the Empire. She readily accepted their Heads of State as her equal and made them feel welcome in the special global family of people representing nations.

May her dedication to selfless public service inspire others in public life.

May she rest in peace.

 

89 Comments

  1. Cheshire Girl
    September 19, 2022

    My heart is heavy today, as will be many thousands of others. It seems almost impossible to imagine life without Her Majesty, but time moves on, and so must we.
    As she encouraged us to think, the sun will shine again – just not for a short while. I hold on to that thought. Through the clouds this week, we have seen the rainbows, and I like to think they are a sign that She is still there.

  2. Mark B
    September 19, 2022

    Again, well said Sir John.

    Today marks the final chapter in the second Elizabethan age. A moment in our lives and our nations history we not forget.

    May she indeed rest in peace.

    1. Ian Wragg
      September 19, 2022

      Truly the end of a splendid Elizabethan reign. Not a shot fired, not a person injured but a seamless transition.
      We now embark on the third Charles reign and are in uncharted waters.
      We have a Monarch who agrees with much that is wrong with our country especially on environmental issues which have lead us into power poverty.
      The new PM has only a short time to rectify this.
      RiP your majesty.

      1. Mark B
        September 19, 2022

        Ian

        I am not a Monarchist or a Republican, but when you compare the transition of power between the head of state here in the UK, and the head of state in the USA, we are rather fortunate to have the system, with all its flaws, in place.

        When I watched (on my neighbours TV) the ceremony, I could not help but wonder at the failures of all our past PM’s as they lined up. None of them could even come close, let alone compare, to the late Queen.

        A constant symbol of unity.

  3. Lifelogic
    September 19, 2022

    Indeed as you say may her dedication to selfless public service inspire others in public life and indeed perhaps inspire the 80% who work in the private sector & who tirelessly fund the rather poorly run, generally very inefficient, wasteful and often/usually totally misdirected state sector. May she rest in peace.

    Although as you say royal status cannot protect from “eventual” death, having good, timely, rapid & correct diagnosis health care readily available can often defer death quite considerably. The state sectors absurdly long lockdown has certainly done far, far more medical and other harm than good.

    The virtual state monopoly NHS (and the “might not come for 12+ hours 999 “emergency” ambulance service) delivers delayed and fairly poor quality healthcare with frequent negligent misdiagnosis (guessing rather than doing test and scans) and unacceptable delays that kill. This clearly kills thousands and fails millions. Not something Royalty have to contend with. Let us hope very few of those whose procedures and operations were cancelled today will actually die as a result or suffer too much. But several almost certainly will die. Statistically perhaps ~ 50. Indeed let us have fair competition in healthcare so more people can use their own money to afford to go privately and take pressure of the second rate rationed NHS. Also to get more overall & decent provision into healthcare. Let’s also overhaul the medical and vaccine regulation systems and government “experts” who have failed so appallingly. Real evidence based, honest and independent experts please. Not the corrupted by the industry group think we have had to suffer.

    Many have been honoured and even elevated to the Lords for this gross negligence.

    1. Lifelogic
      September 19, 2022

      Still very large numbers of excess non Covid deaths in the UK (706 excess deaths in the last published week) and worldwide and EU 16% up in EU figures so why and why so little discussion of this.

      Dr John Campbell has a sensible new Youtube video on this.

  4. Peter
    September 19, 2022

    Well said Sir John.

  5. Denis Cooper
    September 19, 2022

    RIP EIIR

  6. Nottingham Lad Himself
    September 19, 2022

    Yes, I concur with your civil sentiments today, Sir John.

    However, I would retrospectively sympathise with Her Late Majesty, for precisely the having to accept heads of state from many countries as her equal, when they were not uncommonly murdering tyrants.

    1. Lifelogic
      September 19, 2022

      Sinn Féin now largest party in Northern Ireland assembly.

      Is this thanks John Major and Tony Blair? Blair made rather a mess of Scotland and Wales too with his botched devolution. I have still not found anything positive from the Blair/Brown era it was a disaster. Major with his ERM fiasco did at least (un-intentionally) ensure we did not enter the EURO (as he civil servants wanted to) and eventually this delivered Brexit.

      1. Lifelogic
        September 19, 2022

        Well delivered a sort of (better than nothing) Brexit with NI, fishing, immigration levels and many other things still to be resolved. This fake Tory government has continued to run a disastrous & distinctly European socialist economic model – so will Truss change things? We shall see but I think it is unlikely but she is saying some of the right things – but the usually do the talk but not the walk.

      2. Lynn Atkinson
        September 19, 2022

        Seconded, made my stomach turn.

    2. Mickey Taking
      September 19, 2022

      I struggle to think of any she met that could be held as an example to be her equal for the whole life they had.
      One of a very, very special kind. We will reflect today on what we now have lost. Let us hope the future holds a fair version of what she stood for and did. Perhaps King Charles III will achieve some revision and slim down the whole ‘family firm’ in order to maintain a valued Monarchy. Time marches on, we must prepare to look forward, as does the UK in its place in world economics, politics and examples of justice and respect for all people. Rest in Peace Your Majesty, long deserved. Goodbye.

    3. acorn
      September 19, 2022

      There are some forty one of our fifty six Commonwealth ex-colonies, that see this moment as an opportunity for the real story to be told.

      “This is a Britain that has lost its Queen – and the luxury of denial about its past” . With some interesting replies at “Under our monarchy, a deeply unequal world flourished”. Readers respond to Afua Hirsch’s article calling for Britain to confront the painful truth of its colonial past.

      So long as she reigned, the establishment was able to gloss over the horrors of empire. Now is a time for painful truths This will be remembered as a watershed moment in British history for two reasons. First, for the death of Queen Elizabeth II. Second, for what happened next: the voices of those colonised in the name of the British crown being heard, not as a fringe, exceptional view, but as a clamouring chorus of global trauma.” (Afua Hirsch: Guardian)

      1. Denis Cooper
        September 19, 2022

        She’s 41, born in 1981. How old are you? If you were reasonably conscious during the 1960’s you would know that we went over all of this “horrors of the British Empire” stuff then, when there were still substantial parts of it in the process of dissolution. And as my father would tell me then, during sometimes heated family arguments, over his six decades he had seen no benefit from the Empire for the British working man, while on balance ordinary people in the colonies had probably gained from it. I’m not saying “Don’t read the Guardian” – in my naive youth I used to buy it – I’m just saying “Don’t automatically believe everything you read in the Guardian or any other newspaper”.

      2. IanT
        September 19, 2022

        I’ve lived in one of those colonies (Hong Kong) and can assure that there are many there today that would much prefer to see the British in charge than their mainland cousins. There were many bad things that occurred in the days of Empire but there was much good too. It is so very easy to point to the bad and completey ignore the positive.

        There is also an interesting article on ‘Spiked’ currently titled “Why Orwell Matters” that you should read (but in case you don’t) here is a short quote that I think is appropriate.

        “This totalitarian approach to history is dominant today, from the New York Times’ 1619 Project to statue-toppling. History is something to be erased or conjured up or reshaped as a moral lesson for today. It is used to demonstrate the rectitude of the contemporary establishment.”

        1. Lifelogic
          September 19, 2022

          +1 we desperately need a Sir John James Cowperthwaite type of government in the UK now. Indeed we have needed it for many years. A government of less than 20% of GDP not nearly 50%.

          1. IanT
            September 19, 2022

            Yes indeed – but I suspect very few people have ever heard of him!

      3. Peter2
        September 19, 2022

        What have the Romans done for us….

      4. formula57
        September 19, 2022

        @ acorn – more nonsense from the Guardian is to be expected. Did they not hear MacMillan’s “winds of change” speech at all – or did the late Queen prevent them hearing it? Using the Queen’s death as a lever to get attention for self-promoting whingers is not to be commended or taken serious notice of.

      5. Pominoz
        September 19, 2022

        acorn,

        What a very sad post on this sad day. My sadness is not only for the British nation, but also for you in that you focus only on the negatives of what Britain has contributed to the betterment of lives around the world. Not perfect, but name another nation which has achieved more.

        1. Peter2
          September 19, 2022

          Indeed Pominoz, I agree totally.
          acorn is a typical lefty misery, always negative in outlook about everything.

        2. Mickey Taking
          September 19, 2022

          G’Day Pominoz ….I’ve missed you! If you have been here in recent months I’m sorry but I didn’t get to read opinion from down under. I look forward to more realism from the southern hemisphere.

      6. SM
        September 19, 2022

        Acorn: I trust you feel the same way about the Ottomans, the Romans, the Persians, the Portuguese, the Dutch, the Germans, the Spanish, the Mongols, the French and so on?

      7. R.Grange
        September 19, 2022

        Throughout the early decades of the late Queen’s reign, Acorn, the voices of those clamouring for independence WERE heard, and power was handed over to them. What they then did with it is another matter.

      8. Lynn Atkinson
        September 19, 2022

        USD 5 Trillion has been given to Africa since 1960. Time these money grabbers were put in their place. When Wilberforces Abolition of Slavery Bill was going through Parliament, a delegation from Africa came to England to lobby for it withdrawal.

        1. acorn
          September 19, 2022

          Sorry all, I lost out on a bet up north, hence you got a second-hand (redacted) post, and eight of you on this site as well, so far, have responded as the northerners expected. BowlerHatMan has done a post quoting “Yorkshire Bylines” with a headline “John Redwood signalling discord in the the tory ranks?” This is based on the Truss Cabinet being 80+ percent ERG right wing r… etc.

          Reply I have now read this piece which is nonsense. Some wrong allegations and completely wrong spin on my straightforward wish to tackle the energy and cost of living crises post the funeral

          1. Peter2
            September 19, 2022

            More lefty twaddle from you acorn
            Obsessed with the ERG group
            Give a rest.
            Just post on the Guardian site.

          2. Denis Cooper
            September 19, 2022

            I know Yorkshire Bylines and I’ve never seen anything worth quoting.

            Least of all from an article by a “professor of European integration”.

          3. a-tracy
            September 19, 2022

            John, don’t give acorn the attention they crave. Or allow them to provoke your readers into reading other blogs just to get their poor hits up.

          4. formula57
            September 19, 2022

            Some considerable while ago a rude commenter here was minded to write that acorn was unlikely to grow into an oak tree. I might write it again.

      9. The Prangwizard
        September 19, 2022

        Whenever someone from the political Left sees a demonstration by many people respecting something traditional, they always become particularly vile and offensive.

        They are of course unable to show that their proposals are superior.

        1. a-tracy
          September 21, 2022

          Prangwizard, there are two main strands to the political Left half traditional, working class, authoritarian, the other half a type of metro-elite, champagne socialists my Dad calls them who spit on our traditions, anti-monarchist liberals.

          The right has similar splits.

      10. No Longer Anonymous
        September 19, 2022

        That would be the same Guardian that needs donations to survive but is the paper of the most powerful people in the land and reinforces their distortions. Royalty aren’t the most powerful people in the land btw.

  7. Sea_Warrior
    September 19, 2022

    I am disaapointed that Communist China was given an invitation.

    1. Clough
      September 19, 2022

      Why not, S_W? China has been inspiring British government policies recently. Lockdowns, Nightingale-type hospitals, mandatory quarantine, control of media, China showed our government the way to go. That’s what I’m disappointed about.

    2. Lifelogic
      September 19, 2022

      But they are even funding our nuclear reactor Hinkley Point C, this while they plan their takeover of Tiawan.

      1. Lifelogic
        September 19, 2022

        I assume Taiwan was not invited to the funeral.

      2. Sea_Warrior
        September 19, 2022

        I believe that Chinese money no longer forms part of the project.

        1. glen cullen
          September 19, 2022

          All funds transferred into a ‘bung’

    3. Cliff. Wokingham.
      September 19, 2022

      Sea Warrior
      There are perhaps many invitees we may wish hadn’t been invited but, this is surely a time of reflection and reconciliation and we should perhaps accept it as such. Personally, I am sad to see a former PM and his wife invited given that he changed our nation so much and mostly for worse and presided over the decommissioning of something that was dear to our Late Queen.

      SW… Thank you for your service.

    4. formula57
      September 19, 2022

      @ Sea_Warrior – but inviting people from the Evil Empire’s Commission is fine with you? At least the Chinese Communists are not openly hostile and have at times been friendly.

      1. Mickey Taking
        September 19, 2022

        The Chinese love selling us poor quality stuff, the Evil Empire would rather not sell us anything.

  8. George Brooks.
    September 19, 2022

    Thank you, Sir John for five perfectly fitting paragraphs describing 70 years of selfless service to this country and the Commonwealth. A brilliant example of how the Monarchy keeps democracy in balance and a lesson to us all in how to handle family difficulties and upsets that invariably happen from time to time.

    A superbly successful life for the benefit of us all, for which we should be truly grateful. May she rest in peace.

  9. DOM
    September 19, 2022

    RIP Elizabeth.

  10. Cuibono
    September 19, 2022

    A very sad day.

  11. Richard1
    September 19, 2022

    +1

  12. Mike Wilson
    September 19, 2022

    I am surprised that the Royalists amongst you can’t at least keep to the subject for one day.

    Your queen has died. Surely you could keep off political matters for one day.

    Reply She was the Queen of all, royalists and republicans. There is democratic consent to a constitutional monarch in the UK.

    1. Lifelogic
      September 19, 2022

      I strongly support the Monarchy but the Queen died nine days ago at an age of 96 and the events of today and the last eleven days are all highly political and are deliberately being used as such by the Royal Family, the state, the government and many politicians to a massive degree.

    2. Mike Wilson
      September 19, 2022

      That was not my point. This is not the right time to air one’s views. My pint was that the Riyalists on here show little respect by their endless diatribes on climate etc. Surely they should give it a rest on this day.

      1. margaret
        September 19, 2022

        I got your point , but royalists or not , there is something profoundly felt about our own lives and our own place in GB . We have seen the changes in the last few decades and this event seems to finalise the dignity ,calm, good manners and reaching out to others my age group were brought up to believe.

      2. Peter
        September 19, 2022

        Mike Wilson,

        ‘Surely they should give it a rest on this day.’

        Some posters – Royalist or otherwise – never give it a rest.

    3. Lifelogic
      September 19, 2022

      “There is democratic consent to a constitutional monarch in the UK”. There certainly is, let us hope Charles & William can keep out politics and this this retain this.

      1. Lynn Atkinson
        September 19, 2022

        🤞🏻

  13. Graham
    September 19, 2022

    Yes but none of them are elected just like that bunch in the evil empire over there not to mention the HoL here at home all unelected and then the honours system – it’s all too much

    1. R.Grange
      September 19, 2022

      Biden, Harris et al WERE elected, Graham! Surely you aren’t saying that election was stolen?

    2. Lynn Atkinson
      September 19, 2022

      Ursula van der Crazy – elected? Dragi – was he elected?

      1. Mickey Taking
        September 20, 2022

        I was puzzled at why Scholz was not there. It seems because Germany has a President, Steinmeier gets the invitation. Scholz was not invited, eat your heart out! Oh well – at least President Macron could glory in his attendance. Similarly President Sergio Mattarella of Italy attended not Draghi.

        Reply It was up to each country invited to decide who represented them. India too chose the President rather than Mr Modi

        1. Lynn Atkinson
          September 20, 2022

          Mr Modi was busy in Samarkand – you should read the readouts if you have time Sir John. The new ‘pro-West’ PM of Pakistan addressed President Putin as ‘Your Excellency’ and requested a gas pipeline.
          I’m afraid the U.K. has misread the international moves away from the USD, deindustrialization of Germany and destruction of the EU, NATO and demilitarisation of the west almost accomplished.
          Extraordinary changes afoot and the Globalists beaten to a pulp. I’m happy to suffer a cold winter to achieve that!

  14. Shirley M
    September 19, 2022

    A very exceptional lady. She will be greatly missed.

  15. Bloke
    September 19, 2022

    The Queen Mother visited Hackney to view some flowers special to her at a block of flats. Early that morning the council thoroughly cleaned the road where her car was set to park and poured gallon cans of disinfectant into the drains. On arrival around 120 people fully surrounded the QM very close up in her shining green outfit and hat, with apparently only her chauffer present. One woman said ‘Excuse me your Majesty, but there is a cleaning ticket still pinned to your jacket’. The QM smiled and detached it herself, with a humorous remark. She was among so many well-meaning folk on a gentle sunny afternoon. Risk at that time seemed odd.

    1. No Longer Anonymous
      September 19, 2022

      On the Queen’s coronation the police faced the parade. On the Queen’s funeral the police face the crowds. A sad indictment.

      I do hope that there is no clapping. Another sign of our infantalised, noisy and fidgety decline. There is beauty in silence and solemnity.

    2. Lifelogic
      September 19, 2022

      So if you want you street and the drains cleaning (or a small bit of it) you have to arrange for a Royal Visit do you?

  16. No Longer Anonymous
    September 19, 2022

    Rest in peace our dear Queen Elizabeth.

    The young girl with the posh voice and the unbearable burden placed on her shoulders. I can only think of her as such. She bore it so magnificently that she became everyone’s second mother and her reassuring presence will be missed terribly.

    The world will weep today.

  17. Margaretbj.
    September 19, 2022

    RIP Elizabeth .As soon as I saw the wreath on the coffin I knew it came from the royal garden’s and Charles had requested this.I would have done the same. I admired the order and discipline .It felt as though Elizabeth was still in charge.

    1. Margaretbj.
      September 19, 2022

      The media have started commenting on clothes worn.How tacky.Cant they shut up for once.

  18. a-tracy
    September 19, 2022

    I’m so proud that in the United Kingdom, our Head of State, our Royal family can walk in procession with the general public lining the route for 45 minutes. Could you imagine other none royal heads of state making this walk with all their family in their Countries. This history, magnificence and duty that the republicans want to do away with, God save us and our Royal family from them.

  19. Jackie
    September 19, 2022

    It’s all very well but ten days is a bit much – then not to mention the monetary cost of all especially at a time we have food banks all over the country.

    1. No Longer Anonymous
      September 19, 2022

      There will have been a trickle down effect and it will have benefited businesses which will benefit the people.

    2. Mickey Taking
      September 19, 2022

      I heard that a charity collected all the blankets, food and drinks that the people going into Westminster Hall had to give up.

    3. Fedupsoutherner
      September 19, 2022

      For goodness sake. It works out at something like £2 a person. I don’t begrudge it at all.

    4. John Pilcher
      September 19, 2022

      The last one was 70 years ago! HM the Queen has certainly given us fantastic value for our money. Stop grumbling.

  20. Lynn Atkinson
    September 19, 2022

    Amen. The children of this generation are astonished at seeing our culture, our traditions our marking of the passing of the Sovereignty from our late Monarch to her son, our present Monarch.
    They did not know Britain had a culture or a tradition or that we are an ancient nation.
    What a shame!

  21. ukretired123
    September 19, 2022

    Apparently the Queen organised her own funeral and didn’t want it to be long boring ceremony. The weather has been sympathetic on balance brooding before funeral and followed by the bright sunshine afterwards on cue, before eventually clouding on the approach to Windsor.
    The sight of the armed forces in sunshine down the Mall before the lying in state went off very well.
    A spider was spotted on the coffin wreath note at the funeral and would have made “her Maj” smile (and King Charles wince braced for his new nonpolitical and “passive, non advisory role” as hopefully a role model of neutrality for the establishment, the Civil Service and even the BBC itself).

    1. Mickey Taking
      September 19, 2022

      ‘..didn’t want it to be long boring ceremony’. Well it didn’t quite go as intended then.

  22. ukretired123
    September 19, 2022

    This once in a generation event will be very rare in future given the security dynamics and technology challenges in today’s rapidly changing world.It most definitely marks the end of the era in many, many respects more than people realise all over the world.
    It contrasts sharply with so many sad media news events of wars, inhumanity to millions, totalitarian suppression of freedoms, mass shootings, violence and crime worldwide.
    The Queen was a force for peace and stability and few will match her quiet authority, dignity and seemingly effortless style. It was fitting that President Biden said the world was a better place because of her (and how that contrasts sharply with his own mother’s “poems”).

  23. Know-Dice
    September 19, 2022

    Not withstanding anything else, I thought that the young coffin bearers did a wonderful job, with dedication and care to carry Her Magisty to her final resting place.
    RIP EIIR

    1. No Longer Anonymous
      September 19, 2022

      +1

      Those lads each deserve a medal the size of a saucepan !!! It would be nice if their lives are followed to learn what becomes of them.

      1. formula57
        September 19, 2022

        @ No Longer Anonymous “It would be nice if their lives are followed …” – they were just a few of a large number of professionals doing their job with aplomb on the day: why blight them with intrusive, enduring scrutiny they certainly never signed-up for upon selection for the task they undertook today and likely do not want and that is near certain to be turned sour by all manner of n’er do wells seeking to cause mischief and exploit for nefarious ends?

        1. No Longer Anonymous
          September 19, 2022

          A bit like those chaps in the famous Falklands photo. People would be interested to see how they get on from time to time.

          1. No Longer Anonymous
            September 19, 2022

            You don’t become a Guardsman if you don’t like being looked at or scrutinised.

    2. Know-Dice
      September 19, 2022

      Doh… too quick on the mobile…
      “Her Majesty” 🙁

  24. Mickey Taking
    September 19, 2022

    among the incidents that amused me was the churchman dropping his note/speech? near the coffin and close to King Charles. We didn’t get to see him pick it up wearing all his regalia. Another – the best? was Sleepy Joe arriving a minute late (?) so the long parade of ‘the heroes’ had to start. He and Jill had to just stand there waiting a long time for the ‘end of the line’. I imagine the secret service agents were apoplectic fearing a more serious incident.
    Then he was shown his place – 14 rows back. Hilarious. Ideal if you need a decent nap.

    1. rose
      September 19, 2022

      He should have taken the bus along with the Emperor and Empress and all the Kings and Queens.

    2. ukretired123
      September 19, 2022

      Yes the Bishop looked like he dropped a paper on the floor and delicately looking down and realisation that losing his white mitre would be more distracting like losing his head and job too!

    3. No Longer Anonymous
      September 19, 2022

      He looked like a bishop to me. Imagine that… everything done to perfection and then at the key moment !!!

      I could not take my eyes off it. What a dilemma for the poor man. They ought to have the equivalent of a Wimbledon ball boy for such things.

  25. Bill Mayes
    September 19, 2022

    These days, it is only at few times as this especially sad occasion, I feel so very, very proud to be British.
    However, the unilateral respect and on a global scale, of our Sovereign lady, THE Queen, together with the magnificent performances of both our Royal Family and our own superb Military and Police forces during her funeral procession and service, brings forth a feeling of joyous patriotism to my heart.
    So much so, my tears of sorrow have been succeeded by happy tears of patriotism and optimism for the future of our country.
    Thankyou, your Majesties and all of the people who came here.
    God bless our Queen and God save our new King.

  26. Fedupsoutherner
    September 19, 2022

    Our military are fantastic. What a brilliant spectacle and what a day in the history of our nation. It filled me with pride.

  27. Lynn Atkinson
    September 22, 2022

    I had not realized how much I missed London and our British culture, traditions and ancient British nation. Watching the great regiments marching, the fantastic RN of which I am so proud that my family have been a part for generations, the Regalia, the vehicles the buildings and monuments, the services with the proper words, no Woke childish translations, the palpable history of which my every fibre is a part. It was breathtaking.
    The agony and humiliation of the Nothing hill carnival just weeks before, with it overt sexuality, murderous aggression and lack of decorum and demeanour seems like a nightmare.
    I cannot believe that the British have surrendered London – but we have 😢

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