Friday, September 16, 2022



Funny people, the Brits . . .

They are now queuing to view Her Maj’s casket. 

The Queue (as it has become known) stretches for more than 8 kilometres, comprises tens of thousands of persons and continually grows. 

Some points:
  • Public toilets, first-aid tents and water stations have been erected.
  • The government has set up a live tracker to give people an estimate of how long the wait times are and how far it stretches.
  • Rules have been set up for those in The Queue – no chairs, no sleeping bags – The Queue may move slowly but it does move, albeit in a shuffling motion.
  • Mourners have only one minute to view and pay respects when they arrive at the casket and move on.
  • People have come from all over the UK to view Her Maj lying in state in Westminster Hall, although they only get to see a flag draped casket, but it is their opportunity to farewell a loved monarch, their Queen, the symbol of the Old Dart.
  • By the way, it is believed that England is known as the Old Dart from the river Dart in Devonshire which enters the sea at Dartmouth, location of a Royal Navy College. Royal Navy officers who were returning to England at the end of a foreign tour of duty referred to going back to the "Old Dart" for further training.
  • At one stage when it was taking 14 hours for The Queue to make it to the casket, the government closed The Queue for 6 hours. But still they kept coming and joining.
  • Funnily enough, there has been no friction, no hassles, people are helping each other and well wishers are offering refreshments and assistance.


One person has commented on social media . . .
Right, everyone. I need to be serious for a moment. Because the greatest thing that ever happened is happening right now. I don't particularly care either way about the Queen. But the queue? The Queue is a triumph of Britishness. It's incredible.

Just to be clear: I don't mean the purpose of the queue. I don't mean the outpouring of emotion or collective gried or the event at the end and around the queue or the people in the queue. I mean, literally, the queue. The queue itself. It's like something from Douglas Adams.

It is a queue that goes right through the entirety of London. It has toilets and water points and websites just for The Queue.

It is the motherlode of queues. It is art. It is poetry. It is the queue to end all queues. It opened earlier today and is already 2.2 miles long. They will close it if it gets to FIVE MILES. That's a queue that would take TWO HOURS TO WALK at a brisk pace.

You cannot leave The Queue. You cannot get into The Queue further down. You cannot hold places in The Queue. There are wristbands for The Queue.

Once you join The Queue you can expect to be there for days. But you cannot have a chair and a sleeping bag. There is no sleeping in The Queue, for The Queue moves constantly and steadily, day and night. You will be shuffling along at 0.1 miles per hour for days.

There is a YouTube channel, Twitter feed and Instagram page, each giving frequent updates about The Queue. Because the back of The Queue, naturally, keeps moving. To join The Queue requires up to the minute knowledge of where The Queue is now.

The BBC has live coverage of The Queue on BBC One, and a Red Button service showing the front bit of The Queue.

NO ONE IN THEIR RIGHT MIND WOULD JOIN THE QUEUE AND YET STILL THEY COME. "Oh, it'll only be until 6am on Thursday, we can take soup".

And the end of the queue is a box. You will walk past the box, slowly, but for no more than a minute. Then you will exit into the London drizzle and make your way home.

Tell me this isn't the greatest bit of British performance art that has ever happened? I'm giddy with joy. It's fantastic. We are a deeply, deeply mad people with an absolutely unshakeable need to join a queue. It's utterly glorious.


As I said, funny people, the Brits.

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