I rewatched Princess Diana’s funeral on Youtube, which I had not seen since it happened 20 years ago.
Here are my thoughts.
1 I still feel terribly sorry for William and Harry. Especially Harry. He still looked like a little boy.
2 There was no mention of it in the BBC coverage, but I heard that there was a great deal of fear about Prince Charles marching behind Diana’s coffin.
3 The hysteria at the beginning of the procession was baffling. I don’t get the way people reacted.
4 I am not a fan of the boy sopranos, ie castrati children. I get why they are there (women couldn’t speak or sing in church, historically) but I still don’t like them.
5 The funeral feels almost like a strange music festival, with the mixture of hymns, Verdi’s Requiem, and Elton John.
6 I think Earl Spenser is a bit self-righteous, by I try not to judge him too harshly. His sister had just died, and there’s clearly a lot of raw emotion.
7 It’s funny to watch this and remember how popular Tony Blair was at the beginning of his time as Prime Minister.
8 I watched a video where they interviewed the Welsh Guards who carried the coffin in the Abbey. They said that they had to be careful because the floors were very slippery. I felt very nervous watching it again.
9 It’s still amazing in retrospect how volatile the mood of the country was. Perhaps it was a reaction to the end of Tory government.
10 The people’s response to Earl Spenser’s speech shows how many people wanted to attack the establishment at that time. It was not a great speech and he is certainly a funny person to stick it to the establishment He is the 9th Earl Spenser. He lives in a house that goes back hundreds of years. His family line is older than the royal family. He is not an outsider.
11 Watching this again makes me wonder what else was going on in Britain that precipitated this reaction. I know that the Labour Party had just won a huge victory, bringing Tony Blair in as Prime Minister, promising the modernize the country. Did the death of Diana seem like the end of that goal?
12 The people’s reaction showed that the British aren’t ready to get rid of the monarchy, which is fine with me. If they didn’t care whether or not the Queen had shown up, if they were indifferent to her, then they would be in trouble.
13 The service at Westminster Abbey makes it difficult to judge the importance of Diana’s death. The scale does make it seem far grander than it was. Perhaps that is part of the reason that the event ranked so highly in subsequent rankings of historical events. The event gives people the sense that it was a tremendous event.