The United Kingdom knows how to grieve properly with silent elegance and dignity. All day yesterday and today, I've watched the livestream of the Queen lying in state in Westminster Hall as her sorrowing subjects pay their last respects.
The hushed silence of the magnificent hall built in 1079 by William II is broken only by the shuffle of feet. Every face is etched with sorrow. Despite the legend of British reserve and a stiff upper lip, some are openly weeping long before they reach her coffin. Others only burst into tears after paying their final respects to their Queen and turning away for the last time.
They hail from every corner of the globe, every race, every color, every creed.
Most are dressed for mourning. The shops have sold out of black ties which men pair with black or dark navy blue suits. Military men wear their dress uniforms or at least their beret and ribbons. Ladies wear a blouse with a black design or a black dress, perhaps even paired with a hat. Some wear black armbands. Most carry backpacks or tote bags with their provisions for waiting untold hours and shuffling miles in cold, damp London before undergoing an "airport like" security check prior to entering the Hall.
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