Week Thirty-Six: 2022

A week of official mourning and a bit of gardening. Everything seems to be on hold, politics especially. It makes for an oddly echoing sort period, normal things done to a background of abnormal quiet…

Since the coffin arrived from Scotland and moved to Westminster Hall, it’s been about the Queue, that never stopping snake along the south bank that I’ve walked so many times. And the live feed of the lying in state as mourners of every size and shape, hue and creed pass by and pay their respects or merely stare in fascination at this bit of history in the making.

It’s like slow TV, engrossing as the pace of one’s mind slows. You find yourself picking out a face at the top of the steps and following him or her (or them) until they reach the coffin and have their moment.

You know, if there’s one change I’d like the King to make it’s to end the use of the curtsey as a form.of acknowledgement. It’s an awkward, antiquated piece of ephemera that has passed its sell by date. Just have everyone bob their heads, please.

The Queue became its own meme and will be replayed in future many times but if there’s one thing I’ll remember it’s the flummery of peacock coated military and royal household persons as they take part in the formalities. The scarlet and gold coats, the thousands of feathers and yards of bearskins and polished leather. I have no clue what regiments are involved but that’s OK. It makes what would otherwise be entirely sombre something of a celebration, a fancy dress party.

And I like that idea. When my mum and dad died and we buried them, there were a few tears but generally we worked hard to celebrate lives well lived.

And for all the sombre notes, for me I’d like to celebrate Her Maj for a life well lived. Thanks Ma’am, it’s been a blast.

About TanGental

My name is Geoff Le Pard. Once I was a lawyer; now I am a writer. I've published several books: a four book series following Harry Spittle as he grows from hapless student to hapless partner in a London law firm; four others in different genres; a book of poetry; four anthologies of short fiction; and a memoir of my mother. I have several more in the pipeline. I have been blogging regularly since 2014, on topic as diverse as: poetry based on famous poems; memories from my life; my garden; my dog; a whole variety of short fiction; my attempts at baking and food; travel and the consequent disasters; theatre, film and book reviews; and the occasional thought piece. Mostly it is whatever takes my fancy. I avoid politics, mostly, and religion, always. I don't mean to upset anyone but if I do, well, sorry and I suggest you go elsewhere. These are my thoughts and no one else is to blame. If you want to nab anything I post, please acknowledge where it came from.
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26 Responses to Week Thirty-Six: 2022

  1. joylennick says:

    I’m not a Royalist as such…but respect the Queen’s dedication to duty RIP. x

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pam Lazos says:

    It’s such pomp that helps us mere mortals mark time, I guess. As for me, I’d like my ashes spread somewhere with a great view of the sea. I’d say I’m the sea, but then I’d be an environmental pollutant and why make that my final act.😂😂😂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Prior... says:

    A life well lived indeed!
    And I saw some images of the attire and enjoyed how you reflected on it here

    “flummery of peacock coated military and royal household persons”
    And agree it has a place –
    I am still pondering
    But when I see those outfits I am reminded of the very long and rich English history and it felt honoring


    Liked by 1 person

  4. Queen Elizabeth has been on the throne since I was eleven. She will be missed. I enjoyed your thoughts on the rituals. I was particularly struck by the Queue and the numbers of people lining the streets as the herse moved from Westminster to Winsor. All the honor certainly deserved.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. trifflepudling says:

    Agree re curtsey! A lot of the women from the queue bowed.
    Beautiful services and processions today.
    I hope they can all be together and have a few drams this evening and celebrate her life, like you said.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I totally agree re the curtsey Geoff. I recommend you collar The King next time you pass and suggest the change. There could be a gong in it for you! May I suggest that we all deliberately drop the “Consort” and just refer to Queen Camilla?

    Liked by 1 person

  7. tootlepedal says:

    I felt that the event was rather overwhelmed by the military dress and representation, thus looking back to our checkered imperial past rather than forward to a more ordinary life to come.

    Liked by 1 person

    • TanGental says:

      If we had this level of preening and prancing every year like those nations who have annual military displays on national days for example Russia then I’d agree it was a ludicrous harking back… but it seems to me that to do this occasionally, to memorialise some exceptional event isn’t a bad thing. It’s the national equivalent of me putting on a suit and tie for a wedding


  8. petespringerauthor says:

    Grief of course is a natural part of things, but I like the Celebration of Life approach much more.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. That’s the right course to take! Celebrate! She had a long and great life.
    I felt sorry for the guard standing watch who fainted flat on his face – saw that once before when we attended the trooping of the color on the QUeen’sbirthday in person – I know it’s protocol but how many guards end up with smashed noses and faces?

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Norah says:

    Such a lot of pomp. No one else but the Brits could do it. No one else but the Queen could command it.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Jennie says:

    Wonderful, Geoff.

    Liked by 1 person

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