By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
September 26, 2022
“The glories of our blood and state, Are shadows, not substantial things; There is no armour against fate, Death lays his icy hands on kings. Sceptre and crown must tumble down, And, in the dust, be equal made with the poor crooked scythe and spade.”
I didn’t expect to spend so much time looking at the funeral of Elizabeth II. I was intrigued by the spectacle made of death (a display put on for its visual effect and impact) and the ritual of grief (a solemn ceremony performed according to a prescribed order) that was enacted before millions of people.
It took 20 years of planning to stage this event. It was the responsibility of Edward Fitzalan-Howard, who inherited the role of Earl Marshal of England when his father died in 2002. He “descended from the same family that has planned royal funerals and coronations since 1672”. He takes his responsibility seriously. He did not earn a cent for the tireless work he did for the Queen’s funeral.
Continue reading Rituals of grief