Four letters following the important one lead me to London to take pictures.
As usual, though, it’s never about the first thing that comes to mind with me. I’m a republican with a small ‘r’, I like the thought of a monarchy based on a more European idea, something like the Dutch or Danish idea of a reduced familial footprint focussed on low-key ceremonial functions rather than full-on pomp and pageantry.
So why did I want to go and have a look?
It wasn’t to join, although I did walk to the start. When I heard the news of the death, I connected it to my mother’s death some years ago. The “stages” are there, they have been processed several times but still, a vestige of the grief remains and seeing the spectrum of responses from people – from angry swearing about the institution to tears about the death, let me think that I might use this as a proxy to see how my personal grief was resting.
Unsurprisingly, I was moved by the whole process. The instantaneous transfer of power on the day itself, through the steamroller of the constitutional process, to the volume of people proceeding in a stop/start way from Southwark Park to Westminster. I’m glad I was a small part of it. My own personal grief persists and it felt good to connect with people who looked like they were feeling everything I had felt over the years.