We Stood….

Sunday 18th September 2022

Even in these days when we know for sure as never before that the Monarchy sits absolutely at our Nation’s heart, after many years sometimes of prancing anxiety. Were tiaras and outfits perhaps the extent of it? .. . Of embarrassment. Even now, when we know for sure, there can be moments of exhaustion, of collapse. The wonder and mystery, the power, so strong yet elusive, fades to nothing, dust runs through the fingers.

This is as it should be. There is a craving for it to be over, for our ordeal to be ended. Even Royston King welcomed a day of respite on Thursday when we went to Hatfield for a private tour of the gardens, partially in the dark. It can only be a stony upward path, as those undergoing the martyrdom of that queue know full well. How many funerals can a person have? So far there seem to have been about 4, all with dull moments. Between you and me, I only really like the hymns. But when the organ swells and one is caught and felled…

On Wednesday evening we stood – Royston King, Anthony Mottram and myself – at the foot of the slipway coming down off the Westway. I like to think this is the entrance to London. Eventually some 3oo people accumulated in that gritty spot. Once I lived near the Westway. The so-called terrace of that residence was unusable if the wind was in a certain direction. Val said, ‘I’m so glad you’ve decided to make the Westway a part of your life.’ The Late Queen too was plagued by traffic noise at Buckingham Palace and by aircraft directly overhead at Windsor.

In the throng was Skippy Lancaster, of all people, with a party of hard-core old-school Earl’s Court Gays, one of whom was holding forth about financial futures or some such topic. Until, that is, the moment came – suddenly, in the dark and rain, the blue flashing lights and the terror of ranked headlights bearing down. The hearse itself, illuminated from within, slid by, propelled, it seemed, by some power of its own. But shrouded in darkness, quite sinister even, was the tremendous suite that followed. Some twenty cars, containing upright unknown figures, a series of unmoving silhouettes passing by, like the hearse itself, not concerned with the applause offered by the bystanders in the rain.

This was history. We know now that the little coffin in its high-street hearse was on a journey quite frankly to myth, the next day, transformed and elevated by ceremony, passing irrevocably away to a bejewelled heraldic realm where only dead Sovereigns dwell.

Waiting in the Rain

Waiting in the Rain

The Cortege Approaching

The Cort├Ęge Approaching

At Last the Glimpse...

At Last the Glimpse…

Gone Forever...

Gone Forever…

Posted Sunday, September 18, 2022 under Adrian Edge day by day.

One comment so far

  1. Thank you for posting these pictures, Adrian. And thank you for the previous photos of Frogmore and the spectacular rooms in Buckingham Palace. God bless Queen Elizabeth II.

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