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Falling down.

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My three readers have probably already seen this elsewhere on social media, but in case not:

The Guardian did a crazy long but oddly fascinating story about the extensive ceremony and mourning plans that will be rolled out upon the eventual death of Queen Elizabeth.

I often profess not to like longread pieces, because I’ve seen a bunch that give the genre a bad name. But from time to time, one comes along that’s well-done enough to sweep me in and hold me until the end. This is very much one of those.

If you’re at all an Anglophile, this story will fascinate you.

If you appreciate narrative, this story will pique you. The U.K.’s path under Queen Elizabeth has pretty much been all down, in terms of economic fortune and world strength, and the inevitable postmortems will have to deal with that in a way that doesn’t detract from the mourning.

If you’re interested in how antique rites adapt to a modern age, this story will interest you.

And if you’re interested in the million moving parts behind a global ceremony, all timed to the second — and who wouldn’t be? — this story will reel you in.

While reading it, I was reminded of the great Jimmy Breslin, who died a few days ago. Breslin made his name by colorfully telling the stories of people behind the scenes — the emergency-room surgeon who treated John F. Kennedy in Dallas, or the man who dug JFK’s grave. The Guardian’s story seemed like it was seeking out those sorts of people before the events even happen, which says something about the accelerated pace of today’s media.

I had one other thought as I read:

They better have a ceremony at least this big planned out for Ray Davies.

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One response »

  1. Didn’t Liz kind of outlive the decline? I mean, yeah, for the first 30 years of her reign, it was economic decline and then her kids were kind of screw-ups and then she didn’t seem particularly moved by her much more popular former daughter-in-law’s death, but since that time she’s rebounded with lots of jubilees that seem fairly popular and they keep making movies that portray her in a favorable light.

    Reply

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