Solemnity and spectacle: Britain prepares for Queen Elizabeth’s funeral


Grandkids, each princes, honored their grandmother, a queen, at a vigil Saturday that but once more combined grand spectacle and private grief. 

“The fame of Britain is that it is a nation of ‘stiff higher lips,'” stated Jon Sopel, who was a longtime anchor with the BBC. “I feel with the Queen’s loss of life, we have proven that we have a wobbly decrease one as nicely.”

Prince William, Prince of Wales (left) and Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex (proper) maintain a vigil on the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II, mendacity in state in Westminster Corridor in London, September 17, 2022, forward of her funeral on Monday.

AARON CHOWN/POOL/AFP through Getty Pictures

Sopel spoke with correspondent Seth Doane not removed from the place Queen Elizabeth II has been mendacity in state at Westminster Corridor, forward of tomorrow’s funeral. 

“It may be a grand event,” stated Sopel, “the likes of which we’ve not seen on this nation since Winston Churchill’s funeral in 1965.”

That was the final state funeral right here. The U.Okay. has not buried its sovereign because the Queen’s father, King George VI, in 1952. 

Doane requested, “The plans for this have been extremely detailed, known as the Operation London Bridge?”

“And the operation has swung into gear,” Sopel replied.

Planning took a long time, with consideration of each element, from altering flight schedules to make sure quiet, to creating certain bouquets included clippings from the Queen’s properties.

The imperial state crown was on show in Wednesday’s exactly timed procession atop a coffin customary from oak from a royal property. 

Queen Elizabeth honored with grand procession through London


Doane stated, “The pageantry is sort of unbelievable.”

“And once I see that pageantry, there’s a little a part of me that feels this immense delight on this nation, and the wealthy historical past,” stated Sopel. “And I’ve to be sincere, there’s somewhat a part of me that thinks, who knew there have been so many costumes sitting in a wardrobe someplace, ready to be introduced out on this event?”

These photos will be interpreted in numerous methods, stated College of London advertising and marketing professor Pauline Maclaren: “And that is the double-edged sword of reinforcing the custom by their pomp and pageantry and rituals, in the event you like. As a result of for many individuals, it’s a reminder of Britain’s imperial previous.”

Maclaren famous, whereas early polls have been constructive for the royals, this can be a honeymoon interval. “We have to separate the help for the Queen from the help of the monarchy,” she stated. “I come from Northern Eire, so the monarchy has all the time been extra problematic there.”

This previous week, the King traveled to Northern Eire, Scotland and Wales, international locations making up this not-always-united kingdom. A 2014 independence referendum in Scotland was narrowly defeated.

Sopel stated, “What you may find yourself with is ‘Nice Britain,’ because it’s generally known as, not trying so nice, once we’ve misplaced Scotland and we have misplaced Northern Eire, and also you’re simply left with a rump England and Wales.”

“And also you suppose that is extra of a chance now with the King Charles than it was with the Queen Elizabeth?” requested Doane.

“Sure, as a result of I feel that the Queen acted as this wonderful viscous glue that sure these separate components of the UK collectively.”

At this time’s mass mourning reminded Sopel of an outline of Churchill’s funeral, when it appeared London had two rivers – the Thames, and the ocean of individuals paying tribute.

The funeral tomorrow at Westminster Abbey is anticipated to be the most important gathering of dignitaries, heads of state, and members of European royal households that this metropolis has seen in a long time. It is a send-off, and a salute, on a grand scale. 

Watch the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II stay on CBS Monday, September 19 starting at 5:30 a.m. ET, or on-line at, and on the CBS Information cellular app. You might also stream stay through Paramount+. 

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Story produced by Erin Lyall and Jon Carras. Editor: Chad Cardin.

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