Prince William greets royal mourners with heartfelt thanks
Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral will be unlike anything the UK has ever seen in terms of sheer size and importance, a royal commentator has predicted. The nation will bid a final farewell to the former monarch on Monday, who died on September 8, and large numbers have already queued for many hours to pay their respects as she lays in state at Westminster Hall.
I think the funeral will be spectacular and huge, and rightly so
Britain has not seen a state funeral since that of Winston Churchill in 1965, while even Diana, Princess of Wales’s funeral in 1997 would likely be eclipsed by that of the Queen, Jonathan Sacerdoti said.
The regular contributor to the likes of the BBC, Fox News and Sky News made the comments amid a turbulent week that has seen King Charles III. Ascended to the throne and his son William became Prince of Wales.
Mr Sacerdoti said: “The funeral will be spectacular and enormous in my opinion and rightly so.
“Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II deserves a large and very respectful, well-attended State Funeral.
Queen Elizabeth’s funeral will be “spectacular,” said Jonathan Sacerdoti
Prince Charles thanks people lining up to pay their respects
“I think we haven’t seen anything like this because it hasn’t happened for so long.
“And state funerals are big affairs at the best of times, but even those we could remember in our lifetime are nothing compared to what I think we’ll see for the Queen.
“She was a giant, not only of our time, but of all times. She was the longest-serving monarch and that makes her not only historically important but also an icon.”
Throughout the Queen’s reign, the public has been granted “unprecedented access” to her, Mr Sacerdoti stressed.
He said: “I think she has become the most photographed and portrayed woman in the world, possibly ever.
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Princess Diana’s coffin being transported by carriage in 1997
“And there’s no way we shouldn’t have this opportunity to pay her respects and honor her service.
“Britain does these events so well too, especially the royal ones – we’ve seen a lot of royal weddings over the years and they’re spectacular and perfectly organised.
“That’s almost immeasurably more important because it’s more unique.”
Speaking about Diana’s funeral a quarter of a century ago, Mr Sacerdoti said: “Even that didn’t have the reach in the ’90s that this will have today.
“Things like this will be seen around the world on live TV, but also in immense detail on social media.”
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Royal grandchildren pay their respects
Queen Elizabeth: People are lining up to pay their respects
Referring to the aftermath of the Queen’s death, he added: “By the way, we’ve already seen a level of access to the media that was quite unprecedented.
“I was absolutely amazed and mesmerized to watch Prince Charles come back to Buckingham Palace from Balmoral for the first time, get out of his car and shake hands with the whole crowd.
“They had a BBC-led film crew go to all the media who followed him right beside him as he shook every single hand and even received a few kisses from well-wishers.
“And not just a camera, but a microphone. We’ve heard the words people said to the king, members of the public who met their king for the first time, what they said to him, we heard his words back and we heard his aides the public and guided him and the planning around him. It was almost like a behind-the-scenes video.”
Funeral of Queen Elizabeth
He explained: “They decided that the public should see the King meet the citizens of Britain immediately and know immediately how they feel about him and how he reacts to them.
“I just think that was so important, and I think we might see a similar level of detail in the coverage of the funeral. It is done with respect.
“But if you think back to the coronation when they had this question about how close the cameras could be, well today there is no such question.
“We will see that this funeral, in all its spectacular glory, is deserved by the Queen and I think it will be seen around the world, it will be one of the biggest, if not the most watched, live TV coverage since decades.”
Queen Elizabeth and Prince Charles with Winston Churchill, the last Briton to have a state funeral
Mr. Sacerdoti suggested that the approach uses techniques perfected while covering prominent events.
However, he emphasized: “This is not a celebrity event. This is an event of tremendous historical importance and we must see it as it happens.
“We heard the whispers and the instructions, we saw the faces of his helpers as they worried and moved around him to make sure everything was going smoothly.”
Such an approach sent a “massive message” and was no accident, stressed Mr. Sacerdoti.