The Coronavirus Diaries 10th September 2022, Coverage Fatigue

When Graham made a comment on my last post about the sycophantic remarks we could expect over the next days I thought it was a little harsh. Now I can’t bear to turn on the television or listen to the radio. Even The Guardian is stuffed with royal stories. At least there I can choose what to read.

When I was on the Mall yesterday I saw people, taking selfies with the Palace as a backdrop. Many people were clearly there to witness history, to read the notice on the gates, to marvel at the crowds. Yet television commentary described all of them as mourners. Am I mourning the Queen? I don’t know. I am still shocked at her death. It seemed so sudden. We saw her on our screens on Tuesday, physically frail, but still alert, no apparent cause to think that in forty eight hours she’d be dead. What happened? Was it just a simple case of old age like my cousin Alec’s dog who climbed into the car for a five minute drive to the place where he was going to have a walk, only to be found dead on arrival, eyes closed, curled up as though in sleep? That suddenness is what I am struggling with most. That and adjusting to understanding that when someone talks about the Queen today, they are talking about Camilla, not her mother-in-law.

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The Coronavirus Diaries, 8th September 2022; The Queen is Dead

A cousin sent me a truly terrible poem someone had rushed out when the news of ERII’s death broke. I protested. She said I was harsh. I said no, I like poetry and if you want to honour Her Maj poetically cut out the mawkish, the glib, the trite, the Queen was none of those things. Don’t worry, I shan’t inflict it on you though I imagine if you are curious you could find it. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. Hopefully Simon Armitage will come up with something more thought provoking.

I am no fan of monarchy, and I know despite all the dithyrambs on tonight’s news the Queen had her faults. She interfered with legislation which might affect her finances; she only started paying tax very late in her reign; but like many in this country I had a reluctant admiration for her, and I loved her performances in the 2012 Olympics opening ceremony, and her appearance with Paddington earlier this year in her Platinum Jubilee celebrations.

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