Tuesday, September 20, 2022

The Funeral and Two Long Walks

This is where we were yesterday, parked in front of the television watching the Queen's funeral. We turned on the BBC at about 9 a.m. and it stayed on all day. I wasn't even sure our broadcast television still worked. We haven't watched it in probably a year, having been entirely occupied with Netflix and other online streaming. When I was watering the Russians' plants with the ladder over the summer I'd often climb the wall and hoist the hose near the satellite dish that serves as our antenna, and it seemed possible that I'd knocked it out of commission. But no -- when I turned on the Freeview box and switched the TV over, there was the signal, strong as ever.

Anyway, the funeral was quite a pageant, wasn't it? It was interesting to watch all the royals gathered together, along with various world leaders. The ceremonial aspects were fascinating, the careful processions and various traditions, and it was all so dignified I felt a little guilty for blogging about Dockyard Doris yesterday. It must feel so strange for Charles to hear everyone singing "God Save the King," and to think, "That's ME!"

All during the ceremony our little solar queen sat on the windowsill next to the TV, waving away.

When things got a bit too churchy for my taste I went outside and trimmed the pelargoniums, and did some watering. (It's still pretty dry here, despite our occasional recent rainstorms.)

Finally, as the coffin began to process to Windsor Castle at about 1 p.m., I took Olga to the Heath. I figured the funeral was mostly over. Olga and I went to the cafe at Golders Hill Park, as is our new routine, but she wasn't exactly brimming with energy. She just finished her course of antibiotics for her dental infection and I wonder if it's bouncing back a bit. (It won't be healed by drugs alone, which is why she needs that surgery to remove her incisors -- scheduled for tomorrow!)

Anyway, I was shocked when we came home around 4 p.m. and the funeral was still going on! I didn't realize there would be a second service at Windsor. We watched the hearse inch along the Long Walk, crowded with spectators, and saw the queen's pony, Emma, and corgis, Sandy and Mick, awaiting her return.

Seeing the Long Walk reminded me of my own trip to Windsor, way back in July 2003. I was there for a conference with my boyfriend at the time, and we stayed in a lodge in Windsor Great Park, and walked the Long Walk all the way to the castle. Here's one of my photos from back then:

As you can see, the Long Walk is aptly named.

And here I am with Queen Victoria outside the castle:

Hard to believe that was almost 20 years ago. "We Are Not Amused."

Anyway, I didn't watch the Windsor ceremonies in great detail because I was working on some other projects around the house. I did see "the Breaking of the Wand," which has apparently never been televised before. Dave was unimpressed. He said: "It's like a pool cue, and he didn't even break it! He just separated two sections that were barely attached!"

Today, it's back to normal. The Queen has passed into history.

On an unrelated note, some of you who also keep blogs mentioned that my blog no longer shows up in your bloglist. There's been some sort of Blogger problem related to feeds. In all likelihood you'll find that my blog is still there, but it has dropped to the bottom of the list. (On my own blog this happened to several longtime bloggers.) I posted about it in Blogger's help forum and this morning the problem seems to be fixed, at least on my end.


Frances said...

It was all the most wonderful spectacle yesterday, but I am glad that it is now all over and normality can be restored. I hope that King Charles is now allowed a rest for a few days. He must be worn out with all that walking at 73 !
When we went to Windsor some years ago I ended up having an armed policeman waving his gun at me. We had gone as a group of friends and I had got separated from my husband. After I left the castle I decided to go and look for him and walked back up the slope to the gateway I had recently exited from, to have said policeman yell at me to get back. What they thought an old lady on her own was about to do I have no idea!

Moving with Mitchell said...

SG watched the funeral in its entirety yesterday. I love your little figure of the queen on the window sill.

I can’t imagine Charles III is delighted to take on that role at the age of 73.

Boud said...

Charles looked totally miserable and worn out. As did Camilla. I think it's really sinking in that they're in for it now. I don't envy them. I caught bits here and there. I had been wondering when the Crown jewels would be retrieved, interesting to see even that had a ceremony. And the coffin actually sank through the floor! I hope the royal kids don't have nightmares about that.

Unknown said...

Not quite a Harry Highpants photo of you, but a little close. I am not liking jean waists rising higher now.
Anyway, thanks for the photo. I foolishly did not consider that the Long Walk was such a long walk.
Yes, too much religion for my liking, and there is only so much colour and movement you can watch.
But which other could have done it all half so well. It was a great spectacle.

Ed said...

You are back at the top of my blog roll this morning, as you should be!

Although I understand and appreciate the world significance of burying a queen that has reigned for 70+ years, I was surprised that all the local channels on this side of the pond carried the entire funeral, even with the breaking of the wand which I agree with Dave's sentiments, blow by blow, rehashing every detail and even showing an encore presentation of the entire thing again in the evening.

I streamed other things instead and watched the 5 minute clip package on the evening news and that was enough for me. I'm hoping that at least our news cycle can move onto other things now.

Bob said...

We watched a wee bit of the funeral, though I kept shouting, "Put her in the ground already" and Carlos kept saying she wasn't in the box, having been buried at Windsor the day after she died.
Your blog has always stayed in my bloglist; that's how I get here every morning!

Debby said...

I watched about an hour of it, which was more than I expected to watch, but it was dark and stormy here and so... I don't think anyone does pageantry any better than the English but it goes on so long. Like Ed, I figured to watch the recaps later.

NewRobin13 said...

I saw some of the procession as it was streaming on news sites yesterday. It really was quite a royal funeral. Love that photo of you with the Queen Victoria statue.
I am so glad the blogger fixed the problem. Yes, your blog is back where it belongs in our Blogs We Love To Read list. Yay!

Sharon said...

I started watching the services around 6:30 AM after the Westminster service had ended so I missed the long service. However, I did stick with it through the end. That part where the wand was broken and the crown and orb were removed was fascinating. I loved seeing Emma and the corgis. They said that she had requested that they be included. I feel like I got to witness an interesting piece of history.

The Bug said...

Yay - glad to see it's fixed now. I need to remember to go to that forum if I have any issues (I think I'll bookmark it right now).

I was at work of course & didn't watch any of the coverage, although I did see a photo of the corgis. They're such cute bread loaf ottoman kind of dogs :)

Jeanie said...

I think Blogger has been having Covid lately and really taking long naps. Or maybe all the Blogger help people are. This posted in my reading list today, whatever that means.

I watched BBC all day long, too. And then again. I am so impressed with the whole choreography of it all. It's terribly moving -- that relentless dirge and drum, those sailors pulling the coffing, the dogs, the pony. I was really touched by the Windsor service -- the taking back of the orb, crown, scepter. It was fun to see William and George sitting where Rick and I sat when we went to Evensong there a few years ago. But boy, I feel for those folks. It's hard enough to grieve such a personal loss without all the ceremony and meet-and-greets. It maybe be somewhat of a healing diversion at first, but by now -- after all those church services and long walks, they must be exhausted. True, they probably have a masseuse on call and not relying on the fast-food drive through for nourishment, but still... that's a tough one. I thought it was beautifully executed in every way.

Ms. Moon said...

What a long day of a funeral! Jeez. I just keep thinking of the royal family and how tired they must all be. The men must be so glad to get out of those uniforms and the women must never want to see a high heel again.
I'm probably just projecting.

Margaret said...

I watched only snippets and read articles about it. It was interesting in small doses! Blogger has been misbehaving lately but I use Feedly as a reader anyway, so it hasn't affected me much.

Kelly said...

I only watched what was shown on the network news broadcast last night (NBC) and even that was more than my husband cared to see. I enjoyed some of the pageantry, but I've never really been one for funerals OR weddings. I couldn't help but notice how exhausted Charles and Camilla looked by the end of things. I felt sad when they showed the late Queen's Corgis waiting for her (at Windsor, I believe?).

Pixie said...

I've spent the last two days taking an online course about grief. It was quite interesting and part of that course was about rituals and how they help us to process grief. I'm guessing that all of the rituals around the Queen's funeral are a way of helping her country say goodbye and to welcome a new King. Loved the course, not just for work but for my own life. Made me realize how much unprocessed grief I have.

I hope things go well for Olga tomorrow, poor girl.

Yorkshire Pudding said...

I wonder what the Duchess of Sussex thought about the funeral spectacle. I guess she was gathering material for her next interview with Oprah Winfrey: "It was so unfair Oprah. I was ignored. People kept looking at The Queen's coffin and ignoring me!"

Linda Sue said...

i got up at about 4:30 am and still missed some of it, also missed the very last part , breaking the stick thing. It was so worth getting up early for- I love the queen, the boy queen will not measure up but will do a fine job- he has been preparing for all his life. Anyway, it was all about Elizabeth 11, lovely and I teared up and i will miss her and i will say the British are genius at ceremony- WOW! well done all!!!

Linda Sue said...

Oh BTW. I love the new autumnal ocre color of your background.

James and Brigitta said...

I thought that swaying walk accompanied by all the mournful tunes was totally hypnotizing .. but yes, a very moving day. I have not been able to see 5 of the blogs I follow for the last 5 days including yours! That is, I saw them but only as a jumbled mess of letters and numbers, as in 'code'. Today they all went back to normal .. no clue why?

River said...

How long is the Long Walk exactly and once you pass through the gates, there is another Long Walk to the Castle, so how long is the entire walk?

Steve Reed said...

Frances: Well, you DO look very threatening, so I could see why they might have felt you were up to no good. :) Seriously, what a crazy story! Not a typical visit to Windsor Castle!

Mitchell: I suppose part of him is glad to finally be fulfilling the role he's planned for all his life, but yeah, he must be tired, too!

Boud: I thought Camilla didn't look well.

Andrew: Do they look high-waisted? I think they're just normal jeans. I wasn't going for any fancy fashion!

Ed: I am surprised it was carried so heavily in the USA. I thought you'd get highlights but not the whole thing.

Bob: Wow, Carlos is a bit of a conspiracy theorist, isn't he? :)

Debby: Yeah, I'm glad I went for a walk after the Westminster portion. I don't think I could stand to sit through the whole thing, even if it IS such a rare event. (With Charles being 73 it's entirely possible we'll be going through all this again in not too many years, though those Germans do live a long time.)

Robin: For a long time I had a policy that I photographed every statue of Queen Victoria that I encountered. I have an interesting collection!

Sharon: I missed seeing the crown and orb part. I think I was doing laundry!

Bug: That forum is a good place to get answers when Blogger does weird things, but I don't find it very easy to use. It can be hard to search.

Jeanie: I thought it was all very touching, but yeah, the royals must be exhausted. When they were getting in their cars after the Windsor service I thought, "They must be happy THAT'S all over."

Ms Moon: I remarked to Dave at one point that I don't know how Kate Middleton walks in those shoes. They looked like they had five-inch heels.

Margaret: It was interesting, no question!

Kelly: Yes, the corgis and the pony appeared at Windsor.

Pixie: That sounds like an interesting course! Undoubtedly the country needed a significant ritual (or series of rituals) to process the death of a woman who has been a national symbol for so long.


Linda Sue: I will miss her too. She truly did seem immortal. What new background color are you seeing? I haven't changed my background!

James and Brigitta: I don't know all the details but for some reason Blogger wasn't receiving the content feeds correctly. Thank goodness it's been fixed.

River: According to Google, which is never wrong (ha!), it's more than 2.5 miles. I think that's the whole stretch from the hill to the castle.

Blondi Blathers said...

Exactly how long IS that long walk, Steve?
I don't recall ever seeing a photograph such as yours or knowing about the "long walk" to Windsor Castle. Interesting!

Blondi Blathers said...

Whoops, I see my question has been answered. NRN! (no response necessary)