Saturday, April 17, 2021

Beautiful weather for a funeral

We were checking Daughter 2's Edinburgh flat the other day and took a walk down to Newhaven. The weather has been so beautiful this week - unbroken sunshine and blue skies, though with a slight frost overnight. 

I would hate not to live near the sea. 

Today was the funeral of Prince Philip and we decided to watch it. We're not particular royalists, though by the time you've got to our age you realise that there's something to the argument about continuity. I've just checked: in my lifetime there have been fifteen Prime Ministers - they come and go with what seems like increasing speed - and only the one queen, who has been very faithful to the duties wished upon her. Well, there was a king for the first two years of my life but I don't remember him. So the Duke of Edinburgh has been visibly around for all of my life (and indeed for some time before it) and now he isn't. So it seemed significant. 

And I'm glad we did because it was so strange. The soldiers were socially distanced and looked like toys set out by a little boy.

Those carrying the coffin wore masks. I was so nervous that they might drop it, but thankfully they didn't. 

I felt sorry for those ordinary people, born to be unordinary but with very human problems - how dreadful to be them, despite their huge wealth. Imagine all that scrutiny when you were mourning the loss of your father or grandfather. 

And in the chapel, the little Queen, who looked for the first time quite doddery, sat alone, quite distant from her family - who in their turn were distanced from each other, and masked. They had to conform to the rules but it seemed so weird and cruel. It's happened to a lot of others, of course, but for those others it wasn't beamed round the world. 

The music at the service was beautiful. I particularly loved William Lovelady's setting of Psalm 104, which I've listened to several times since the funeral. It was sung by four, distanced singers with such wonderful voices. Do Google it if you like music.

Meanwhile, in my garden, spring continues. And tomorrow we're going up with the Edinburgh family to visit Son and his family in Angus. Our First Minister has given us permission - a week earlier than expected. There's an election coming up but only a cynic would suspect a connection... . I'm feeling excited but nervous, in case it doesn't go as well as I hope. It's six months since the children have seen any of us. 



  1. It seems to me that ambition is a distorting and sometimes corrupting drive, and a virtue of monarchy is freedom from that.

  2. I have tulips that color! I too like the tradition and the continuity of the royal family. Struggles and disagreement are a normal part of life, and I hope they can work through theirs. I'm delighted that you get to see your son and his family. Very exciting!!

  3. A lovely post. I watched the funeral and cried, only the British can present a funeral with such precision. The whole royal family looked so regal and now they must support and look after the Queen.
    I hope I never see a Republic here in my lifetime.

  4. Yipee! I'm so happy that you are able to go see DS and your beautiful grandbabies! I hope you're having a lovely time with them as we speak! I watched bits and pieces of the funeral -- the precision was amazing.