A show of respect
RESPECT can be shown in many ways. And Guernsey showed it to the monarchy yesterday, as hundreds rose to their feet as God Save the King was broadcast from the Queen’s funeral.
With the Saumarez Park public broadcast of the funeral being the first for most islanders in their lifetime, no one knew quite what to expect. The States organisers set up hundreds of chairs and a big screen, asked islanders to dress respectfully and then crossed their fingers.
And the people came. While a few were dressed in black, most were in jeans and summer dresses – with warm jumpers at the ready due to the ominous dark cloud. Many came carrying picnic blankets, snacks and camping chairs, along with toys, bikes and games for the children.
Surprisingly there were few older islanders. Instead it was largely the working age population – with their unexpected day off – who wanted to spend it as part of their community, marking their monarch’s passing.
It was a funeral event like no other, with children playing almost silently at the back, as islanders were glued to the London scene.
And there was an air of respect hanging over the crowd. Even the children, sensing it, largely knew this was not the time for screaming.
There was no printed order of service, but islanders were a part of the event. As the Reveille sounded from the speakers at the end of the two-minute silence, the entire Guernsey audience almost simultaneously silently rose to their feet for the National Anthem.
It was about showing the island’s respect for the British monarchy.