How long should a Nation mourn?

On the death of her beloved Husband Albert, Queen Victoria began a period of mourning that lasted forty years to her death. It is considered today a somewhat extreme action by a person who never overcame the grief after her bereavement.

When Diana, Prince of Wales died in a gruesome car crash in 1997, there was an outpouring of grief for the princess which has scarcely subsided for those most affected. 

When the Queen died on Thursday 8 of September, the period of mourning began. Television channels grappled with the dilemma. BT Sports decided to show a football match, but to drop the pre-match and halftime punditry and adverts. 

‘Every COVID death is a tragedy’ we heard during the pandemic. For the deceased and for their loved ones. We know know of the widespread anger against politicians who uttered words of solace which were later found out to be false. 

At present there seems to be a country which has been long preparing for the death of a paradoxical figure, much loved, remote as a long-lost relative but closer than members of the household. Remote and close. Whose imagined life to the last detail is recounted in the minutest detail. 

The royal drama has already been played out in lucrative films. Popular debates continue over which actress plays the Queen best. This morning less than 24 hours after her death, an article appeared comparing the merits of Clare Foy, Olivia Coleman and Helen Mirren in the role.

By Friday decisions are now being reached to postpone sporting events. The BBC which has been preparing for several years for this sad event has virtually abandoned other news stories.

It summarises the current situation

 The Queen’s death will have a major impact on daily life in the UK. While a timetable of official events has been carefully planned, most details are yet to be confirmed. The funeral is expected to take place at Westminster Abbey in about 10 days’ time. The date, to be announced by Buckingham Palace, is likely to be declared a bank holiday. It’s unclear whether schools will close before then, with the Department for Education and devolved administrations expected to issue advice. Sporting and cultural events to have been cancelled or postponed include Friday’s football and racing fixtures, the BBC Proms – including Saturday’s Last Night of the Proms – and the Mercury Music Prize ceremony. Meanwhile, rail and postal workers’ unions have called off planned strikes.

The Diana death industry is still very much alive. The mourning for a fairy tale figure, especially one of a much-loved monarch can go on as long as those profiting from it can continue to exploit it.

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