I’ll be flying to London this evening in hopes of being able to file past the casket of Queen Elizabeth II and pay my final respect in person.
My Brief Trip To London To File Past The Casket Of Queen Elizabeth II
It has been a busy week. Yesterday I was in Virginia, today I’m back in LA, and tomorrow I’ll be in London…with the hope that waiting times will not be overwhelming and by the end of the day on Saturday I can be back on a plane to California.
Why didn’t I just go from Washington, DC direct to London? Because of commitments in LA that were made before the Queen passed. That’s particularly tragic because fares remain sky high and the diversion back to LA between Washington and London was quite costly.
Even more tragic is that this will be a race against the clock, as I have commitments in Los Angeles on Sunday and Monday and that absolutely require my attendance (I’ll detail this next week).
The trip will all come down to this: how long will the queue be? Officials in London have warned that lines will be burdensomely line and many news outlets have speculated waiting times could top 40 hours. Over a million people could descend upon Westminster in an attempt to say goodbye to a monarch who reigned for over 70 years. But I don’t have 40 hours.
I’m monitoring this helpful real-time update on queue time and if it grows too long as the day goes on, I may scrap the trip altogether.
But part of me holds out hope that all will work out, even though I will arrive at the start of the weekend when many tens of thousands may decide it is time to start lining up.
You might wonder why an American who has never met the Queen or has much British blood (my maternal grandmother’s side of the family was English) would sacrifice so much time and money to file past a casket 5,000 miles away.
I’ll address this more in a future post, but I do want to direct you to this poignant article by Andrew Sullivan that so nicely captures why I hold so much respect for Queen Elizabeth II and the stability, order, humility, and compassion she demonstrated during her reign.
I don’t worship the Queen or idolize the Royal Family. But unlike many of my American siblings, I love the British system, the monarchy, and the beauty of a lifetime of public service that flourished precisely because she deflected attention off herself and to her noble duties.
I’ll say farewell for now, with tomorrow’s series of blog posts already set for publishing. Be sure to follow along Twitter and potentially even YouTube as I brave the lines and prepare for an extended wait.