If you’re planning to watch the Queen’s funeral tomorrow, spare a thought for those families whose funerals have had to be cancelled as they were scheduled for the same date. Because a royal funeral has to take precedence over private grief. Spare a thought for those whose operations have had to be cancelled, because someone thought it necessary to cancel that operation to ‘show respect’. Spare a thought for those whose weddings have had to be cancelled at the last minute and for the same reason. Forget the fact that many of those intending to attend those weddings and funerals have already made expensive travel and hotel arrangements.
It would have been easy enough to schedule the Queen’s funeral for this weekend. In which case schools would not have to close; businesses would not feel obligated to shoo their customers away; and long-awaited operations could take place. That’s what happened with Princess Diana’s funeral two decades ago and that of the late Duke of Edinburgh in 2020. No one was inconvenienced. But that would have been too easy. In today’s gesture politics, there has to be personal sacrifice. The entire UK economy has to be closed down to make a point, as if it was not already bankrupt.
Earlier this week, we heard about Centre Parks, which had asked its clients to vacate for the day so that they could shut down for the Queen’s funeral and ‘show respect’. What about respect for those customers? In the face of customer-protest, that decision was reversed, although I believe that some of its facilities will still be closed down for the day. Spare a thought also for those on zero contracts who will lose a day’s pay, which they may never claw back.
Just a final thought.
Remember to get your shopping in by 4.00 PM today. Otherwise it’ll be too late.