Watch Queen Elizabeth’s funeral

September 19, 2022 • 5:31 am

Right now Queen Elizabeth’s funeral service is happening, with all the pomp and circumstance you can imagine, at Westminster Abbey. The NYT is offering a live feed with real-time updates. Click on the screenshot to see both.  Right now I just heard the preacher (presumably the Archbishop of Canterbury) say: “There is one thing we know for sure: death is the doorway to glory.”

Click on either photo to go to the site, and look at the pinned article at the top to see commentary

And there’s a spider on her coffin–for real! (h/t: Matthew. I’ve put an arrow by it:

The old faker Uri Geller also tells us to watch for omens:

22 thoughts on “Watch Queen Elizabeth’s funeral

  1. “There is one thing we know for sure: death is the doorway to glory.”

    Take it in … ooo … I gotta hear it again :

    “There is one thing we know for sure: death is the doorway to glory.”

    … it probably sounds awesome in a massive church like that. It being … the words, like music.

    But as John McEnroe says, he “can’t be serious?!”

  2. Couldn’t think of watching anything more boring. I am fascinated that in the US a war was fought for independence from one of QEII’s ancestors but the attraction and adoration for the monarchy is sometimes fawning and obsequious. At the same time you have a rising anti democratic Christonatonalism movement which may assume power in a few months time and a corrupted judicial system. The US is just such an amazing crazy fruit salad of culture and politics

    1. Well don’t watch it, then! I’m watching snippets now and then to see the pomp and ceremony. I disapprove of the monarchy in general but this is a spectacle I haven’t seen before.

      As I said, don’t watch the thing. I suspect your comment is here just to blow off some rancor you have towards America.

    2. 90%-odd of the town is shut down – I had to hunt a bit to find a shop to get some milk in, and eventually got it at the Polish “deli” down High Street. After navigating the swarms of bins out for collection – clearly the bin collection isn’t being done, and essentially none of the householders paid the slightest attention to any “don’t put your bins out” notices that were posted – I certainly didn’t see any.
      My neighbours seem to be working at the pig-gutting factory. Time and pig-gutting waits for no monarch, evidently. Roadworks were being dug too, with no effort at mournful sound-proofing.

      I’d say about 10% of shops were open, and maybe 20% of the normal footfall in the town centre. A couple of pubs were open – but both had the “Parrot Sketch – Diamond Perch Edition” on the football screen, and I doubt they’d be covering their costs from the number of customers. Certainly I wasn’t going to have a pint with that dirge blattering my ears. Several pubs had signs about opening this afternoon – probably do a roaring trade then.

      To my slight surprise, the Scots Nats politics shop/ office was closed. I’d have thought that even with the constraints of a small volunteer work force, they’d have made a special effort to be open today.

      1. I went out rather than waste my time on that flimflam, & there was traffic & people about, & I had a pint after a walk…

    3. Definitely not boring. I watched the whole thing (in Australia) and found it riveting. The Brits sure know how to stage an event; well, they’ve been doing it for more than a thousand years so that’s lots of practice. I think that whether or not you approve of the monarchy has nothing to do with the spectacle. She was a wonderful monarch who served her country faithfully for seventy years with never a sign of controversy. How many leaders can say that? I will miss her wry sense of humour. RIP Elizabeth.

  3. I saw the spider crawl across the top of the envelop and disappear behind it. How lovely! (Charlotte’s Web?) The flowers are from the Queen’s garden. There might even be an earwig or two nestled within the petals of the dahlia. The choir is wonderful.

  4. Agreed. It’s an interesting historic event. Observing it does not necessarily imply endorsement of the associated institutions.

    1. I remember King Big Ears and Lady Blondie getting hitched. I’d tried to get over 10 miles from a TV set in the Highlands, and it turned out that a fisherman/ gamekeeper/ crofter had decided to run his genny so he could goggle at it on the goggle-box.

      Drat, foiled again! Or previously, or something.

  5. I watched the Ken Burns doc on PBS last night. The local South Florida PBS affiliate, WPBT, ran the doc two times back-to-back. I let it play through a second time, to see if I missed anything while taking a bathroom break and running to the fridge for a snack, but drifted off to sleep before it finished.

    Result being, that I awoke at 3:45 am (an hour’s more sleep than I’m used to getting lately) to the gentle strains of the PBS’s coverage of the Queen’s funeral playing in the background.

    I listened for a while, until one of the PBS commentators said in a posh accent — to my ear, almost all of the commentators, especially on PBS, have posh accents, save for the occasional answer given by some rando during quick man-on-the-streets vox pop interviews — that the Queen “must be proud, looking down, at how her family has handled her funeral arrangements.”

    This struck me as begging the question (in the original logical fallacy sense) in two ways: First, it assumed the existence of an afterlife. Second (even accepting, for the sake of argument, the validity of the first), that HRH headed up rather than down.

    Now, as I’ve said in comments here before, from my geographically and psychologically remote perch, Liz seemed a decent sort. But to know the fate of her immortal soul strikes me as being beyond the ken of even the most ardent royal watcher.

  6. Gotta admit that, whatever one’s feelings about the monarchy, one must admire the Brits in uniform participating in this spectacle their ability to keep a straight face.

  7. Uri Geller! Isn’t he the chap who got into trouble in the US when his candles didn’t light up? In England, he willed a soccer ball to move just before a penalty was taken. He was also asked not to stop Big Ben, probably because the English thought he had the kind of face that could actually do it. I am sure he took it in the complimentary sense.

  8. Just had a thought on what was a very moving ceremony – which was very, very English: indeed you can go to any parish church in the country and hear the same hymns and readings for Joe Public’s funeral. The only major difference is the scale and the congregation.

    The only slightly negative comment I have on today is that I was hoping to see a representative of the National Secular Society present. I am well aware that it was a religious ceremony and if you look at the order of service you will see that representatives of pretty well every singe faith group that you have ever heard of (and some you probably haven’t – Pastor Agu Irukwu Senior Pastor, Jesus House UK anyone?).

    I was understand, of course, that a representative of the NSS might have felt a bit hypocritical being there but secularism is probably the single biggest “faith” group in the UK at the moment. Agnosticism and, to a lesser extent. atheism is followed by a growing percentage of the population. It wouldn’t have taken much for a someone from NSS to be formally invited as a representative of those people.

    It was just a very, very minor thought on what was an incredibly moving service. Even for an atheist!

    There is ceremonial and there is British ceremonial. No insult to other countries but the British do this best of all.

    1. Well, as another (ex-CofE) atheist, I completely agree! There was a lot of quite moving ceremonial in today’s rituals. The inexorable, unremitting slow marches; the lone piper; the removal of the emblems of sovereignty (orb, sceptre and crown), in keeping for the King’s coronation; the Lord Chamberlain breaking his wand of office over the coffin, his duties at an end.

      Above all, for me, the two new anthems at the funeral, the second of which (by the Scottish Catholic, James Macmillan), was quite stunning.

      Whatever our loyalties or our beliefs, there will certainly never be an event like this again.

    2. “… indeed you can go to any parish church in the country and hear the same hymns and readings for Joe Public’s funeral. ”

      Makes me wonder if the Royal Family ever did that famous storybook thing where they dress as peasants and mix with the commoners.

      Somehow, I doubt they’d agree to exchange places.

  9. One of my earliest memories is of Winston Churchill’s funeral on TV – although my only recollection of the occasion is being told by my mother to sit still and watch because it was an important event.

      1. Something else we have in common. Didn’t make the kids watch today’s ceremony, although they’re old enough to decide for themselves anyway! In January ”65 I’d have just turned 3 the month before, but it’s not something my parents have ever discussed with me so I’m convinced that this is a genuine early memory.

  10. People mocking the pomp and ceremony, the garb, the ritual…
    But if this were some tribal ceremony from an African or Amazonian tribe, with headdress and ritual and chanting…’oh, how wonderful, how exotic’.
    I am anti-monarchy, but am able to watch and enjoy and admire.
    Great study in how ideology, virtue-signalling, and bias create a binary in critical thinking.
    Hmmm…those ridiculous Brits and their ridiculous pomp…the very same Brits and pomp that colonized the world…maybe there is a connection…
    Just thinking of loud…again, not a fan of the monarchy, and can’t wait for Australia to become a Republic. But somehow I can admire and reject at the same time.
    When the Archbishop of Canterbury began the mass, did anyone else call out “mawaige”..?!
    (And he did say it later!)
    Great stuff. Some funny moments in the mass to savour.

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