The day belonged to what I’m calling the Elizabeth line, says Dan Wootton
All ages. All nationalities. All shades of the left/right political divide. All coming together to honour our late Queen
I’m relieved to say we haven’t seen King Charles III today.
The new monarch is finally taking a day of reflection to mourn the loss of his beloved mama in private.
For seven days, since receiving the heartbreaking news Queen Elizabeth the Great had died, Charles has given himself to the public, putting his own personal trauma to one side, as is his duty.
But, with all the criticism of his minor annoyance over a leaky fountain pen, we must be compassionate and remember what he must be going through in front of the world, with TV cameras following his every move.
The absence of the King from the stage allowed the new Prince of Wales and possible future Duke of Edinburgh Prince Edward to take centre stage.
During a conversation with a member of the public, William admitted yesterday’s historic procession brought back memories of that tragic September day 25 years ago when he was forced to march behind the coffin of his mother.
But the day, for me anyway, belonged to what I’m calling the Elizabeth line. It’s the queue to end all queues.
All ages. All nationalities. All shades of the left/right political divide. All coming together to honour our late Queen.
I walked the length of most of the queue today and was amazed by its ruthless efficiency and good natured British ingenuity.
Major companies along the Thames section were offering free refreshments.
There was no sense of aggro, but only one of mutual respect. And what I’ve loved about this queue is that it’s a great equaliser.
No matter your job, your class, your age, your status, you line up with your fellow Brits.
Unless, it has emerged, you’re pals with an MP.
In a disgraceful decision, our politicians are able to skip the queue altogether and take four pals with them for the ride.
Parliamentary staff members and accredited Westminster journalists can skip the queue too.
In other words, once again there is one set of rules for the Westminster establishment and another for the rest of us mere mortals. What a disgrace.
Angela Rayner, Theresa May and the like should have joined the line with the public in order to pay their respects.
It would have done them all some good.