By Daily Mail Comment
Even in a country with a history as long, distinguished and glorious as ours, barely a day can have pulsated with such intensity and emotion.
Queen Elizabeth II was not just the longest-reigning and longest-living British monarch, but she was indisputably the most loved.
The huge affection in which she was held was illustrated by the enormous crowds lining the route of the procession as she left Buckingham Palace for the final time in her crown-adorned coffin.
And it was reinforced by the snaking lines of mourners filing past the late sovereign’s body in reverence and condolence as it lies in state in venerable Westminster Hall until her funeral on Monday.
Queen Elizabeth II was not just the longest-reigning and longest-living British monarch, but she was indisputably the most loved
There is, of course, an unattractive tendency for people in the 21st century to attend any high profile event that might generate social media ‘likes’.
But those descending on London were different, determined to make a solemn demonstration of their gratitude to a figurehead who set an impeccable example in everything she did during a lifetime of uncomplaining and dutiful service.
These people came not just from all across the country, but from all parts of the globe, and from every age group, ethnicity and background.
Could there be a more stunning refutation of the callow sneerers in the liberal elite and Left-wing Press who regard the monarchy, and the traditional British values it embodies, as hopelessly outdated? How utterly out of touch they appear.
In a highly-charged week of memorable, heart-breaking and sombre moments since the Queen’s sad death, yesterday was perhaps the most remarkable.
Drawing on all the pageantry the country can summon, Her Majesty’s casket left the palace by horse-drawn gun carriage in melancholy progression led by King Charles, the Princess Royal, the Duke of York and the Earl of Wessex.
This grieving nation, however, would have been heartened by William and Harry walking side by side in the cortege – a poignant echo of Princess Diana’s funeral almost 25 years ago to the day.
Their once seemingly unbreakable relationship has, of course, been severely strained by Harry and Meghan taking self-serving and spiteful potshots at the Royal Family from their Californian bolthole.
With luck, however, the grief of their beloved grandmother’s death will act as the catalyst which persuades them to end the enmity. The Duke of Sussex binning his tell-all book would be a perfect start.
In this week which none of us will ever forget, it’s been drummed home how the Queen showed the world that there is more that unites than divides us.
From prince to pauper, it’s an important lesson we should all remember.
Putting a lid on prices?
There is, of course, no room for complacency. But could the tide finally be turning in the war on inflation?
The cost of living has dipped into single digits (just) thanks to some relief at the petrol pumps over the summer, although food prices are still rising sharply.
A week ago, the notion we could be near or – whisper it – even past the peak would have seemed preposterous. But Liz Truss’s bold energy price freeze should deal spiralling prices a massive blow.
Even so, with inflation still increasing by nearly 10 per cent a year – playing havoc with the finances of families, firms and the Government – the Bank of England must bear down on it with higher interest rates.
The economy has been buffeted by global headwinds beyond the Treasury’s control, including war and Covid. But with a raft of positive economic news this week, from growth to record low unemployment, the storm may at last be abating.
Published by Associated Newspapers Ltd
Part of the Daily Mail, The Mail on Sunday & Metro Media Group