The coffin of Queen Elizabeth II on the last trip but restaurants and pubs are open

LONDON — The coffin of Queen Elizabeth II began a carefully choreographed 500-mile journey to its final resting place on Sunday, moving from Balmoral Castle through the crowded streets of the Scotland’s capital, Edinburgh, where he will remain until he is flown to London ahead of the funeral September 19.

And while Britain was mostly consumed with mourning and ceremonies, some people were missing their canceled football matches and regular TV shows.

In Edinburgh, crowds of people pressed against metal police barricades along the road of the black Mercedes-Benz hearse to pay homage to the Queen.

Piles of floral tributes lined the gates of London’s Buckingham Palace and other royal sites.

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But after the initial shock, scenes of national mourning – the Queen’s face appears on memorial signs in every town and BBC presenters are dressed in black – now coexist with ordinary daily life as the royal family and its great apparatus called the “Company” seek to orchestrate a transition of power for a very different audience than that which Elizabeth faced 70 years ago.

“I think especially for the older generation, she’s been such a constant in all of our lives that we always knew the Queen was there,” said Chloe Young, 21, an Edinburgh masters student. “So it’s very strange to know that we now have a king instead of a queen. It feels like a massive change.

William and Catherine, the new Prince and Princess of Wales, also captured the attention of the public on Sunday, who welcomed mourners to Windsor Castle alongside Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan, Duchess of Sussex. The appearance fueled speculation the brothers could reconcile after their reported estrangement last year when Harry and Meghan stepped back from royal duties.

President Biden, speaking at the 9/11 memorial service at the Pentagon on Sunday, recalled a message the Queen sent after the terror attacks. “His ambassador read a prayer service at St. Thomas Church in New York, where she poignantly reminded us, ‘Grief is the price we pay for love,'” he said. declared.

On Monday, King Charles III and his wife, Queen Consort Camilla, will lead a procession with guns firing down Edinburgh’s Royal Mile to a service at St. Giles Cathedral, which dates back to the Middle Ages. Thousands of people are expected to file past the Queen’s coffin in the coming days.

King Charles, just days ago Prince Charles, will address Parliament later on Monday.

The UK government released advice on Friday on the best way for businesses and public services to pay tribute.

“National mourning is a period of reflection in response to the demise of the sovereign,” it read. “Nevertheless, bereavement is very personal and we anticipate that individuals, families, communities and organizations will want to mark Her Majesty’s passing in their own way.”

Fortnum & Mason has stopped its clock. Premier League football matches have been postponed. The unions announced that they were calling off the planned strikes.

But for the most part pubs and restaurants are still open – a necessity as UK businesses face a growing cost of living crisis.

“It’s sad and all, but stop everything? It’s a luxury,” said Al Mohamed, a street cleaner in north London, looking at broken beer bottles on the pavement. “I can’t judge people having fun or paying homage to it. But someone has to clean it up.

For some businesses, the darkness during the mourning period could be the difference between survival and closure.

In a letter to the government last month, the British Beer and Pub Association said massive job losses were inevitable without help for an industry that employs 940,000 people. “With the pandemic, it’s been a tough time already,” said Dev Maritz, 39, from behind the bar at the red-and-white-tiled Thornhill Arms. “I don’t think the owner thought about closing.”

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Bar staff at several pubs said the cancellation of Premier League football matches had affected customer traffic, but new customers also joined bar regulars to raise a drink to the Queen.

“I think people also wanted to come celebrate together,” Maritz said. “We have to keep going, we have to keep making money, but while we celebrate his life.”

Some cancellations, including football games and the annual Proms concert, have been criticized for eliminating opportunities for community remembrance.

“In many cases, it was not the monarchy or its government that canceled these things. The BBC, the Premier League and other companies and organizations have made the decision,” the New Statesman reported. “Maybe it’s because they think it’s right; sometimes, however, it is surely because they are afraid of the consequences of not cancelation.

Some have noted with discomfort that regular news coverage and television programming has been overshadowed by wall-to-wall updates on King Charles’ accession.

Stories of the war in Ukraine reaching a critical new stage, or of floodwaters leaving a third of Pakistan’s habitable land under water, are far from the headlines.

The BBC and ITV have canceled some of their flagship shows in favor of news and analysis on the royal transition. Apple News’ algorithm generates a solid feed of stories about what’s next.

Scrolling through the newspapers at his local supermarket, Pat Simmons, a former postman, was skeptical: “Nothing else going on, huh?” he called to the cashier with a wry smile. “It’s like we’ve been taken out of the world for a few days.”

For the publicly funded BBC, the Queen’s death has left news executives with a delicate balancing act. “It must act as a national broadcaster and commemorate the Queen, while ensuring that it does not overwhelm audiences to the point that it shuts down completely,” media reporter Jim Waterson wrote last week in the Guardian.

When the Queen’s husband Prince Philip died last year, the BBC had to scrap an online form for reader feedback, after wall-to-wall coverage again replaced regular programming, leading to a wave of complaints.

The adulation surrounding the Queen’s legacy has also sparked unease among Britons who fear the fanfare will drown out any collective reflection on how the nation’s colonial history has shaped the world.

“Bombarding us with hours of repetitive content that transcends the colonial legacy of Queen Elizabeth’s reign is counterproductive and unnecessary”, online and print magazine gal-dem wrote on his Twitter account.

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In the days following the Queen’s death, activists and politicians from former colonies in the Caribbean renewed their calls to remove the monarch from their head of state and for Britain to pay reparations for the slavery. On Sunday, the hashtag #notmyking was trending on Twitter.

“Respect, decorum and questioning are not mutually exclusive,” columnist Kenan Malik wrote in the Observer newspaper. “Interrogation is not an expression of anti-British. There is more than one way to want the best for this country.

The former British colonies of India, Pakistan and Australia announced a day of mourning on Monday.

But the prime minister of Antigua and Barbuda told ITV News on Saturday that within three years he would hold a referendum on whether to break with the British monarch, who officially remains the nation’s head of state. Caribbean. The former English colony is one of 14 nations to still have this status outside of Britain.

“It does not represent any form of disrespect to the monarch,” Prime Minister Gaston Browne said. “This is not an act of hostility. … It is a final step in completing the circle of independence in order to become a truly sovereign nation.

Berger reported from Washington. Annabelle Timsit in London; Lee Powell in Edinburgh; Rachel Pannett in Sydney; and Sammy Westfall and Meryl Kornfield in Washington contributed to this report.

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