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GBR | Sep 25, 2022

Audrey Hinchcliffe | Pomp and pageantry: Beyond the symbolism

/ Our Today

King Charles III, the Queen Consort, the Princess Royal, Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence, the Duke of York, the Earl of Wessex, the Countess of Wessex, the Prince of Wales, the Princess of Wales, Prince George, Princess Charlotte, the Duke of Sussex, the Duchess of Sussex, Peter Phillips and the Earl of Snowdon follow behind the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II, in Westminster Abbey, London, Britain September 19, 2022. (File Photo: Jack Hill/Pool via REUTERS)

Yes, it was stately, ceremonial splendour at its best. Magnificent!

The funeral of Queen Elizabeth II and the proclamation of King Charles III displayed all the pomp and circumstance we have come to expect from the British but it belies something not clearly evident to many of the faithful watchers around the world.

The relationship between the British monarchy and the Commonwealth of Nations, the Queen’s long service and loyalty have all been discussed and dissected, but the sight of black heads of state from the Commonwealth huddled in a bus making its way to the funeral in Westminster Abbey caught my attention.

A bus by any other name, coach or whatever, is still the “blinking bus!”

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Sophie Gregoire Trudeau attend the funeral of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in Westminster Abbey. 19 September 2022. (File Photo: Jack Hill/Pool via REUTERS)

So, where were the limousines brought in for the occasion? Shouldn’t these important personages be afforded the dignity befitting their position? Where were the high commissioners stationed in London?  Where were the governors general as the Queen’s representatives? Were they separted from the prime ministers or were they in buses too? 

“Let me die with my dignity,” says Calypso Rose.

Did these prime ministers and leaders of governments from the member states of the Commonwealth  agree to be huddled in a bus? Were they even told that this was going to be the case? Did they have bus fare in their pockets and purses? Which of them would have boarded one in his/her country to attend a state event – funeral, parliament, an entertaining or sports event while hosting visitors?

To watch these black people – our leaders, gleefully filing out of a white bus was something truly bizarre to behold.

At home, taxpayers keep their heads of state dignified in limousines or high-end SUVs, surrounded by ceremonially decked-out outriders, led, and followed by multiple security and resourced vehicles, yet overseas they settled for a bus ride during the pomp and pageantry of the Motherland.

To watch these black people – our leaders, gleefully filing out of a white bus was something truly bizarre to behold.

If that isn’t reason enough why we should quit the monarchy and become a republic, I don’t know what is!

God save the King!

  • Audrey Hinchcliffe is CEO and Founder, Manpower and Maintenance Services Ltd Group.


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