ABC Sydney Drive presenter Richard Glover is in London and went to pay his respects to the Queen mendacity in state.
It is the silence that first strikes you.
I am about to enter Westminster Corridor, the eleventh century constructing by which, for the subsequent 4 days, the Queen lies in state. There is a hovering stone archway, then an extended flight of steps into the primary a part of the corridor.
As we proceed slowly, down the steps, in two sombre traces, each eye is on the coffin, sitting within the heart of the corridor.
It’s on a raised platform, a catafalque, draped within the Royal Commonplace. On prime of the coffin sits the imperial state crown, resting on a purple cushion.
Across the coffin stand members of the Family Cavalry, alongside Grenadier Guards with their magnificent bearskin hats, and yeomanry with swan-plumed headdress. It is like a scene from a medieval Madame Tussauds.
The officers are all enormously nonetheless, wrists crossed, leaning their weight ahead onto their swords, as if they’re themselves in repose. There’s not a flicker on any face.
We shuffle nearer to the Queen. I watch as these forward of me attain the coffin, flip, and take their second to say goodbye. Some curtsy. Some nod, as if in thanks. A Japanese man, a number of locations forward of me, turns and bows deeply.
Then it is my flip. I take my few seconds. The coffin, sitting within the heart of this enormous room, immediately appears smaller.
Early that day I had seen it pulled down the Mall, crowds ten deep, the King, his siblings and sons marching behind, a navy brass band following. Then the coffin appeared enormous, the colours of the flag and crown gleaming within the solar.
Now, shut by, it appears smaller. The picture I’ve of the Queen — a strong determine of historical past, pal of Presidents, the confidant of the Prime Minister — is joined by a unique image.
I see her now as a grandmother, frail in the direction of the top, mendacity in relaxation, a tiny determine on this huge area. It is laborious to not really feel a surge of emotion.
The second passes. All of us shuffle forwards. Few can resist the urge to show again for a second, simply earlier than reaching the door, every of us nodding a final goodbye.