Queen’s Funeral – a dazzling extravaganza to mark her passing

Watched by a goodly chunk of the world’s population on television the Queen’s funeral was a breath taking and  sumptuous display of military pomp, which, as ever, ran with flawless precision. The pallbearers of the Queen’s Company, 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards, recalled at short notice from active service in Iraq, had the nerve-wracking task of manoeuvring the coffin off and on catafalques, up and down steps and in and out of the hearse four times without stumbling. The floral bouquet, state crown and orb and sceptre balanced on top never wobbled.

  Lessons were learned from previous Royal funeral mishaps – in 1936 George V’s bejewelled Maltese Cross, containing some of the biggest jewels in the Crown, fell off into the gutter from the coffin top during his funeral procession. It was deemed a bad omen, with his son, Edward VIII abdicating not long after which caused a constitutional crisis.  Since then the Royal symbols have been anchored on. He was buried on 28 February 1936 with an accident-prone Mars Saturn conjunction in Pisces in a hopeful opposition Neptune square Jupiter, which latter two sometimes accompany scandals and instability.

  The sailors pulling the coffin on the gun carriage on ropes stems from Queen Victoria’s funeral in 1901 when panicking horses reared up and threatened to topple the coffin. Sailors on foot took over and the tradition has stuck. Her funeral on 2 February 1901 was a scrambled affair since no one knew what the protocol was and she insisted on being buried in a white dress with her wedding veil. At her request a dressing gown of her late husband Albert who had died 40 years earlier, was placed by her side, along with a plaster cast of his hand, while a lock of John Brown’s hair, along with a picture of him, was placed in her left hand concealed from the view of the family by a carefully positioned bunch of flowers.

  On her funeral day there was an exact disruptive Uranus opposition Pluto in an excitable and aggravated square to Mars. No wonder the horses were skittish.

  Queen Elizabeth’s funeral chart had a dreamy though not always practical Sun opposition Neptune, but that was anchored by an Earth Grand Trine of a Virgo Sun trine Uranus trine Pluto – arguably allowing Neptune to give vent to its cinematic talents without getting in the way of the organisation which ran like clockwork.

 My personal observations having watched the entire day was of admiration for the logistics and spectacle of it all – even if the Windsor last leg was a touch too much. Inside, the religious service was less noteworthy. The prelates, as ever, had uninspiring voices, flat delivery and were glued to the words on the page in front of them. When will they ever learn they are broadcasting to billions? Taking voice production lessons and practising oratory might add to the gravitas of the occasion. The choral music was top notch.  

 Baroness Scotland, secretary-general of the Commonwealth, was presumably there at the Queen’s request to indicate her love of the Commonwealth but given the corruption allegations against her was regrettable – she’s a Sun Mars Pluto in Leo conjunction, which is formidably determined and ruthless. Liz Truss up second was also less than rousing. Seating Joe Biden way back in the stalls was a mistake.

  Of the Royals – Camilla looked haunted and under-slept. The Princess of Wales looked supremely elegant, sombre and steely. The Royal children were well-behaved and Charlotte will clearly be a beauty. Charles let his feelings show but came across as dependable in the role. Princess Anne was a stalwart support. Prince Harry looked ill-at-ease but at least he was sat visibly behind Charles and Camilla for one of the services which made him feel less like an unwanted spare. Prince Andrew’s presence was a jarring mistake but probably unavoidable given his closeness to the Queen. Pray god he disappears off stage for ever in the near future. Though it may take a heavy boot behind him since his arrogance is boundless.  Luckily Prince William seriously dislikes him and he’ll straighten Charles’ spine.

23 thoughts on “Queen’s Funeral – a dazzling extravaganza to mark her passing

  1. Biden was seated at the back because he turned up half an hour late.

    The ushers weren’t sure he was going to make it in time for the start of the ceremony, so seated people ahead of him.

    Who on earth is late for a monarch’s funeral?! Tho’ it might have been down to Mercury retrograde.

    Well done to all the rest of the leaders who arrived by bus (the bus scheme was designed so everyone arrived in a timely fashion)

  2. I was really wondering if the Queen was actually inside the coffin the whole time or if that is just a pretend and her corpse had to undergo several checks and procedures, maybe even for future DNA purposes before being buried and was just taken from Balmoral straight to London/Windsor. The coffin really went past many places ( and that was a lot of places where things could have gone wrong, such as coffin being dropped and so on) and I would imagine that doctors and funeral specialists would have had to complete procedures before her being buried. Part of me really doesn’t believe she was inside the coffin although I did feel something “magical” when I went past her coffin at St Giles cathedral. In Brazil, for example, they leave the coffin open (example Ayrton Senna), but in the UK they don’t do that.

  3. Good review Marjorie. I agree that the religious readings were flat and dull. Baroness Scotland despite her dodginess read well.
    The pipes, drums & naval ratings were very affecting.
    Hated all the colour though and the naff clashing flowers.
    Two funerals was too much though.

  4. The funerals are all on Youtube under the British Pathé channel. Really interesting to dip into and see how it’s the same basic format. But yesterday’s seem to have had much more precision. Of course, hi-def TV, multiple camera angles and intense scrutiny necessitated it.

    I’d provide links but my posts always end up in the moderation bin so here are some titles
    Queen Victoria’s Funeral (1901) | British Pathé
    Funeral Of King Edward VII The Peacemaker (1910)
    The Funeral Of His Majesty King George V (1936)
    The State Funeral Of King George VI (1952) | British Pathé

  5. It was extraordinary, and quite overwhelming. What a moment in history we’ve all witnessed. I too was undone by the sight of the young corgis and the Queen’s horse. For all the gorgeous pomp and ceremony, the innocence of the animals that so symbolise the Queen’s personal ‘loves’ made me cry!

    As for Andrew (who will look after the dogs now, apparently)….

    “Prince Andrew’s presence was a jarring mistake but probably unavoidable given his closeness to the Queen. Pray god he disappears off stage for ever in the near future.”

    Unfortunately, Andrew reminded me of those dodgy relatives and in-laws in almost all large families. They have to come to funerals, in particular, and everyone wishes they weren’t there. Yet there they are, hoovering up the food and drink at the wake, and triggering goodness knows what in everyone else.

    I looked at Andrew’s natal chart briefly, and see Saturn approaches the Pisces Sun in 2023, which could represent a tiny bit of ‘growing up’ or sober realisations. Of interest, too, is his BML at 21 Gemini. Mars Rx in Gemini does sound a bit like warring siblings, and the square to Neptune, his ruling planet, is at 22 degrees and close enough this November I think. Neptune presses on closer to his South Node in Pisces too, and the square to bumptious Jupiter in Sagittarius. A spiritual awakening of some sort is a lot to hope for, but something may stir in the subconscious realms! Or yet another scandal could surface I suspect.
    Meantime, transiting Pluto is almost conjunct his Venus 28 Capricorn, and Mars 27 Capricorn. That would be pretty intense for most of us, and could also represent pressure on his finances and future income.

  6. It was the piping bands playing the lament, ‘Flowers of the Forest’ for me. I cried at the Queen’s pony, ‘Emma’ as she stood still while the procession passed by. The entire event was emotional and powerful.

  7. I hadn’t realised when I sat down to watch that it was due to be an all-dayer stretching from before 11am to gone 5pm. I had intentions to get out and cut the lawn in the afternoon, but decided a respectful silence (as was true of my entire neighbourhood) was the right option.

    I watched the service and then the procession – I was stunned to hear it was over a mile and a quarter long. The sound of the guns and Big Ben tolling every minute was special. I dipped in and out, once the coffin was loaded into the hearse.

    All in all, rather amazing.

  8. My eyes look like boiled eggs from crying. That moon symbol of the masses conjunct dark moon in Cancer was oh so appropriate for the event, the last Queen in our lifetimes, and mother /grandmother to the UK/Commonwealth family.

    Talking of women Marjorie, it all kicked off in Brighton on Sunday with Let Women Speak rally and much more seriously the murder of the Iranian woman Mahsa Amini, thats currently creating waves.
    I know you did a post on Iran at the beginning of the year, but would you mind having another look specifically re the impact of her death and wether it will help topple or transform the regime?
    Many thanks

    • There is surprisingly little showing on any of the Iran charts or the Ayatollah’s leadership chart so regrettably doesn’t look as if it will rock the boat.

  9. An interesting contrast with George VI’s funeral on 15 February 1952 with sun in Aquarius opposite Pluto in Leo and trine Neptune/ Saturn in Libra.
    A good funeral which focussed our emotions and will allow us to move on in due course.

  10. I think I will come to like Prince Charles as King, and eventually, Prince William also as king – more and more. Both are more sensitive and compassionate, and both are more conscientious and considerate of their roles in the wider realm. In this day in age of growing awareness of the effects of emotional trauma, as well as declining democracy, and fears around the pandemic, a likely recession, food insecurity, wars, and catastrophic climate change – the entitlements of Prince Andrew and Harry & Meghan, and the aloofness of the late Prince Philip (no matter how much Lizzie loved him) won’t be tolerated anymore. All in all though, it was a beautiful service and the choral music, drums, and bagpipers were all impeccable. Speaking of which, Princess Kate, like Princess Diana before her – is the epitome of sophistication and elegance.

    • Speaking of the new King Charles, there’s a lovely article on him in WaPo which details his admiration for Islamic culture, his rejection of Huntington’s Clash of Civilizations philosophy, and embrace of the world’s religions and diversity amongst so many ethnicities. I always thought he got a bad wrap after the Diana debacle and now it seems his time in the sun might surprise us all with his own version of humanitarianism.


    • I think that Charles is not a particularly nice man given all the reports down through the decades and his behaviour re Diana, whatever one thought of her was horrible.
      Still, hopefully he will do his duty and control his self pity and irratibility.

  11. It was a miracle that the funeral went so well under Mercury retrograde. However, Mercury was up to his tricks with the trains: damage to overhead lines scuppered the services from Paddington station, preventing some people from attending.

    • Mercury retrograde doesn’t tend to be an issue if you take care, double-check and read the details. Operations London Bridge and Unicorn had already done the plan and I’m sure many rehearsals were done.

  12. Did it help arrangements that our new aircraft carrier had not made it to joint manoeuvres with the American Navy, thanks to a propeller problem?

      • Being a Piscean, I was absolutely captivated by the whole event. No one does pomp and pageantry like England. The Queen deserved an unforgettable farewell – and that was delivered. I agreed that Joe Biden had to be seated behind Commonwealth countries – the US was treated with respect but for once it was all about the crown. I don’t think we will see something like that again in our lifetime.

      • They needed a lot of naval ratings to control the gun carriage, I wondered if it was better they weren’t the other side of the Atlantic. But then I’ve just seen that The Queen Elizabeth carrier went instead the day before she died.

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