Thursday, April 18, 2013

A regal occasion

Those of us old enough to remember Winston Churchill's funeral will have likely drawn parallels with the event that took place yesterday. It is unlikely that we will ever see such a funeral for a prime minister again during this century so it was well worth watching.

Thankfully, the threats of a disturbance came to nothing; a handful turned their backs as the coffin passed by and there were some who carried placards. The vast majority though were as respectful as they should be at a funeral. There were cheers and clapping as the gun carriage and then the hearse passed by. If I recall correctly, the crowds at Churchill’s funeral, which were larger in number, stood in silence. Otherwise, the two funerals bore a lot of similarity in that they marked the country’s respect for politicians deemed to have made a significant contribution.

What was impressive for me were three things; the ability of the British to carry off such an event with great dignity and without a hitch, the stirring music that accompanied the procession and the music which was chosen for the ceremony itself. Although there were some European pieces in there, the majority of the music was English including the arrangement of Elgar's stirring Nimrod.

We don’t have access to BBC TV so I cannot comment on the presentation. For us it was the Euronews coverage that came from the BBC feed. I imagine that it was impeccable.

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