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JANET STREET-PORTER: The Royals Don’t Want Britain To Close To The Queen

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Next Monday, the eyes of the world will be on the Queen’s funeral. This historic event honoring the devoted life of our longest serving Monarch will be watched by millions. Meanwhile, the UK will grind to a halt.

If you need to see a doctor, grab a pint or a sandwich – forget it.

If you promised the kids a ride at the fair, no chance.

Need shopping? Hunger, like the people who depend on food banks.

Did you think you could collect your state benefits? Sorry, post offices are closed.

Shops and schools are closed, trains are cancelled. The sick cannot see the GP and weddings and funerals have to be rescheduled. Long-planned operations will not go ahead, so NHS waiting lists will get even longer.

Heathrow airport is even canceling flights during the funeral, so the noise won’t be a distraction. I hope you don’t get house arrest.

Have you planned a movie, a visit to the theater or a holiday at Center Parcs? Forget it. Not possible.

The palace has made it clear that this is not their wish – that they hoped the funeral could take place with minimal inconvenience to others. But when the government decided to make Monday a public holiday, the result was a national shutdown in the name of showing ‘respect’

Brokers have for sale signs covered in black cloths, the royal coat of arms and more unusual ways to commemorate the Queen

Brokers have for sale signs covered in black cloths, the royal coat of arms and more unusual ways to commemorate the Queen

Supermarkets, restaurants and shops fell over to announce they will be closed Monday, as will much-needed food banks and post offices.

We’ve been told time and time again that any closure and inconvenience is “out of respect” for the late Queen.

The palace has made it clear that this is not their wish – that they hoped the funeral could take place with minimal inconvenience to others. But when the government decided to make Monday a public holiday, the result was a national shutdown in the name of showing ‘respect’.

While mourning his dear mama, King Charles has not asked us to stop cycling, to issue just one weather report a day, to turn off the music in supermarkets and to silence the cash registers.

The news of the Queen’s passing last Thursday shocked us all, even though this remarkable 96-year-old has seemed more fragile in recent months. We just weren’t prepared for the inevitable.

And then, after the official announcement, things started to get a little weird as big business, local councils, celebrities and pop stars all rushed to make sure the world knew how much they were grieving. Showing ‘respect’ in their own ostentatious way.

The Met Office immediately announced that we would expect only one weather report or warning a day “as a sign of respect.”

I bet you (like me) are secretly glad you’re not being bombarded with amber weather warnings, hourly reports of fog and darkness delivered by a parade of women in cocktail dresses with double-jointed writhing fingers, instructing us to ‘be careful’. be’ and don’t forget to pack our raincoats.

All McDonalds restaurants are closed on the day of the Queen's funeral, along with several other chains

All McDonalds restaurants are closed on the day of the Queen’s funeral, along with several other chains

Supermarkets, restaurants and shops are falling over themselves to announce they will be closed on Monday, as are much-needed food banks and post offices

Supermarkets, restaurants and shops are falling over themselves to announce they will be closed on Monday, as are much-needed food banks and post offices

The day after the Queen’s death was announced, I was shopping in Morrisons and thought I was having problems with my hearing. The shop floor was eerily quiet. No braying messages on the tannoy. No annoying jingles about super deals. No beeps from the cash register. Staff spoke in whispers and even the customers muffled their voices.

I went home confused to find that someone at Morrisons headquarters had ruled that normal supermarket noise was disrespectful at such a sensitive time. It must be silenced ‘to show respect’.

The store later claimed there had been “miscommunication” and the edict had simply been to “attenuate” the sound of the cash registers.

Still, is this the best way to honor a beloved monarch?

Have the bosses of Britain PLC lost their sense of proportion?

At Center Parcs, the bosses announced that they would close completely on funeral day from 10 a.m. 24 hours “out of respect and to allow as many of our colleagues as possible to be a part of this historic event.” That means all residents and holidaymakers should pack up and leave.

There was a huge outcry from families whose vacations (already paid for) are said to have been disrupted. Where were they supposed to go? Center Parcs relented, graciously saying the villages would remain open to guests, additional facilities would still be closed and everyone involved would receive a discount.

Mourning madness takes many forms: you might be surprised to learn that cycling on the same day as the funeral is considered inappropriate after British Cycling issued a ‘strong recommendation’ that people should not cycle at the royal funeral.

After being widely mocked, they slightly revised their advice and condemned club rides, coaching sessions and community events.

All this is routinely justified with the tag ‘it’s what she would have wanted’.

I’m pretty sure the Queen would have wanted people to remember her in their own way. To have a quiet moment or two, but to get out and enjoy. To not be disturbed in their daily routines by her departure from this world.

Unfortunately, an army of pompous brats makes that pretty much impossible.

In the days following the news of the Queen’s death, companies rushed to let us know how much they cared about the late Queen. From Marks and Spencer to P&O Ferries and even sex toy makers like Ann Summers, no one wanted to be left out in this display of striking mourning. Brokers have for sale signs covered with black cloths or the royal coat of arms.

Cynics may say it’s a good way to connect your brand with reliability, long service and dedication.

Even Transport for London decided to ban buskers during the mourning period, conveniently forgetting that the musicians have to play to earn a living. It’s as if anything even fun or lighthearted is to be swept away and replaced by stark austerity until the Queen’s funeral is completed and she lies in the family vault in Windsor.

Kite festivals and Guinea Pig Awareness Week have been culled ‘out of respect’. Fairs are closed and cinemas will not show blockbusters if they send the wrong message.

In any case, London’s Vue Cinema will remain open Monday – you can watch the funeral on the big screen for free and get a bottle of water to go with it. God forbid free popcorn or a pack of Maltesers is included – that was seen as ‘disrespectful’.

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