Visiting Buckingham Palace

Yesterday my husband and I went to Buckingham Palace to say goodbye to the Queen in our own way. The owner of the Palace was away. The Queen’s coffin is due back at Buckingham Palace from Scotland at 7pm today (13th), and tomorrow afternoon it will move from the Palace to Westminster Hall, where the public can also say goodbye in front of the coffin from 5pm, which is 24 hours a day, until 6.30am on the day of the funeral.  I thought about going to London after Thursday, but according to BBC, “People are warned they may have to queue for hours, possibly overnight, with little opportunity to sit down as the queue will be continuously moving.” so I gave up the idea.

Yesterday was a beautiful day with a blue sky as if summer had returned. It was crowded in front of the palace, but the flowers were to be offered in Green Park, so the bouquets in front of the gate were cleared away.

The flag was at half-mast.

There were signs everywhere saying “If you wish to offer flowers, please follow the signs and place them at the special place in Green Park. If you leave them here, they will be removed”; when I checked three days ago, the sign said “After 12 hours, they will be moved to Green Park” but changed to “removed”.

Nonetheless, it was still under the watchful eye (?) of the security guards. Numbers of bouquets of flowers were left there. It was also right behind the sign. The phrase “rules are meant to be broken” came to mind.

There were also four guards, two on each side of the main entrance. I noticed that one of them had a bearskin that was somewhat crooked.

We moved in a slow procession to the flower donation area in Green Park. Instead of piles of flowers in one place, there were several piles of flowers in a large area, and many people were looking at the bouquets and gifts, reading the cards and saying goodbye in their own way.

In Japan, sympathy flowers are mainly chrysanthemums, white flowers of orchids and lilies, or flowers in subdued colours, but in the UK they are colourful. Sunflowers and roses were popular, but also miniature pumpkins and even leaves.

I couldn’t help snapping this photo of a very lovely girl squatting in front of the flag, looking pensive. But I didn’t have permission from her parents, so I processed it into a sketch. I heard the girl’s mother telling the others that she loved the Queen because they all had a big Jubilee celebration in June and she enjoyed it very much.

The Queen has served her people for 70 years, and after the funeral on Monday 19, the coffin will be carried down the Long Walk, which runs straight to Windsor, to St George’s Chapel at Windsor Chapel. A committal service will be held there, which will be the final event, after which the Queen will be buried in the chapel in the same place as her father, King George VI, her mother, who was known as the Queen Mother, and her sister, Princess Margaret.

Rest In Peace.

Date created: 13 September