Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner. Facebook Messenger An icon of the facebook messenger app logo. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Facebook Messenger An icon of the Twitter app logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. WhatsApp Messenger An icon of the Whatsapp messenger app logo. Email An icon of an mail envelope. Copy link A decentered black square over a white square.

MARY-JANE DUNCAN: The queues! The seating plan! Never seen the like…

Post Thumbnail

It’s the most British thing I have witnessed in all my days.  The queue and people watching those queuing live on TV.

Joining the line in the post office no longer cuts it.  Celebrities stood shoulder to shoulder with members of the public, totalling some 250,000, waiting to pay their respects to the Queen, albeit briefly.

Unless you’re This Morning’s Holly and Phil.  National outrage and cries for resignations over the ‘we skip any queue’ gate.  Apparently they were attending on official business, but national reaction to morning TV’s sweethearts has been swiftly unforgiving.

Never mind the post office line

Joining the line at the post office may feel as long, but nobody has produced a map of where to nip out of the ‘Elizabeth Line’ for a quick pint.  Yet.

Members of the public who have queued through the night pass through the final part of the queue before filing past the coffin of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II as the late monarch lies in state in Westminster Hall.

Any state visit to the UK is logistically difficult enough but this has been almost incomprehensible and, whether you’re a royalist or not, you at least have to be impressed with vast skills on show this week.  Team HRH Queen Elizabeth, take a bow.

I almost hate myself for being glued to the screen, I had weeks of housework to catch up on, but there I was switching between the channels to make sure I didn’t miss anything.

The flowers, the uniforms, the horses and the corgis.  One day you’re 23 enjoying happy hour in a crowded bar, the next you’re in your 40s glued to the footage.  Global royalty.  Heads of foreign governments.  World leaders.  I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here Z list ‘sleb contestants need not apply.

Even Ant and Dec weren’t invited.  That would’ve been another two seats to find, you can’t really have Ant without Dec now can you?

Were there tantrums over seats?

There were 2,200 guests, 500 of which were overseas heads of state or foreign dignitaries.  Where did they stay?  Who was wearing what?  Was there a tantrum or two over the seating plan and where Earl Marshall, the  Duke of Norfolk had sat them?

Seven surviving British PMs, and their spouses, prominently seated.  President Biden 14 rows from the front, behind the Polish President.  Someone pass this ignorant peasant some popcorn.  I need  to google what is going on!

Our mere commoners’ wedding didn’t have a seating plan.  At the last minute, the hotel owner begged me to plan one.  I couldn’t understand her desperation.

President Joe Biden, right, takes his seat with his wife Jill Biden and other heads of state and dignitaries for the funeral service of Queen Elizabeth II at Westminster Abbey.

But she was completely right, it was to stop a riot.  So, for any of you currently planning a wedding, this is an absolute gift to you.  Pipe right down Auntie Barbara!  If Biden can sit NINE rows behind the Canadian Prime Minister, you can sit next to cousin Barry and his weird girlfriend.

The clever internet folks told me Commonwealth political leaders outrank those from the rest of the world, regardless of their importance.

Even President Biden…

So, President Biden, who routinely arrives last at any major function to show he’s the most important person attending, had be there a whole hour before the funeral started and without his usual security entourage.

He may have arrived in the ‘Beast’ rather than on the ‘jolly bus’ but for a moment, at least, he experienced what it’s like to be a minor figure on a world stage.

Who wouldn’t have wanted to be a fly on the wall on those buses?  Imagine instead of important worldly affairs, these VVVIPs got to relax and catch up.  How’s the wife and kids?  Are you still enjoying your private island? You simply MUST tell me where you got that darling handbag?

‘The back of the bus canny sing…’

In my tiny mind, there was a hint of school trip, party bus vibe happening, featuring a rousing rendition of ‘the back of the bus canny sing’ led by a police official during their biggest protective operation ever.

With the Canadian PM quoted as saying ‘a lot of great conversations can happen on a bus’.  I truly hope they did.

Viewing it all resulted in a lot of funeral chat with the kids.  The future demise of their parents met with expected levels of despair and grief.  Or not.  As they announced plans to roll me into the harbour with a suckling pig styled bath bomb in my mouth for a lovely effervescent effect.

If I’m lucky and it’s not raining, they’ll even stay till the bubbles stop.