The Queue and the Vigil

The spectacle of The Queue, snaking its way through London like a massive gated airport system was an impressive one. People would queue in line for ten to twelve hours or more before spying the coffin lying in state at Westminster Hall. This weird event – and it’s surround media, which some have dubbed ‘coffin tv’ sees no sign of reaching a crescendo. That moment may come on Monday, with the funeral, but really at this stage who knows?

This sounds right, the length of the queue and the fact that the Queuers can endure it with such fortitude is a measure of their Britishness. Many of the participants interviewed reflect on the silence within Westminster Hall, and the peace and calm of the experience. It seems people are drawn to the ceremonial, some sense of the sacred, and to find meaning and be part of a collective experience. But in doing so here they seem to have been drawn to actively subjugating themselves publicly. Demeaning yourself by acting like a child or being overwhelmingly deferential doesn’t take away from the experience, that IS the experience.

Banality slides uncomfortably into solemnity as the bizarre phenomenon unspools. We’re on Day 5 of the mourn fest and the Super Soarway Sun has changed its colour palette to a more respectable purply-blue hue for its content which includes a ‘Queue tracker live’ which tells us: “Line to see Queen lying in state PAUSED for at least 6 hours as mourners face even BIGGER wait”. This stunning content was brought to you by Nina Clevinger, Holly Beaumont, Catherine Micallef and Jack Elsom. That’s four of the paper’s top journalists being brough together to bring you rolling coverage of A Queue.

Comments (32)

Join the Discussion

Your email address will not be published.

  1. Squigglypen says:

    Jist a wee bit cruel there Mr Small….. re Mr Jack an his pointy hat an tights….(I did laugh.)I’m afraid nobody’s listening….all devastated at the loss of Liz who lived off us for 96 years …Poor bugger she had to talk to us and even shake the grubby paws of her’ subjects’….that must have been hard…

    When will the skin fall off the eyes of ‘the British’?…dunno but one day they’re gonna realise they were had… usual.
    Signed the petition to remove ‘Earl of Inverness’ from yoo know hoo….and joining My Rebublic..things ain’t so bad..always a silver lining in every cloud.
    For Scotland!

    1. Welsh_Siôn says:

      Invite you and Scottish friends to sign this petition, too, Squiggly.

      PS I now know why Carlo doesn’t like pens! 😉

      1. Squigglypen says:

        OK..signed petition and chipped in. Always thought the Welsh brilliant….from when I climbed the Aran Mountains and met a farmer carrying an injured sheep on his shoulder..spoke to us in Welsh…a red letter day!
        The only bad bit about going to Wales is you have to go through England tae get there….never mind worth it..a beautiful land with bonny people . ( who can sing!) For Wales!

        And Scotland!

        1. Welsh_Siôn says:

          Diolch, Squiggly.

          Not ALL of us can sing, mind. My 97 y/o Mum and me sing like crows with sore throats. Yet we’ll happily belt out the national anthem (NOT ‘te royal one’) at any given opportunity.

          I guess we can suspend our friendship with the Scots for 80 minutes a year at Murrayfield or Caerdydd/Cardiff, though.

          I belong to our two national parties, so I keep abreast of developments in both nations.

          Tros Gymru / For Scotland.

    2. Axel P Kulit says:

      The British may realise they have been conned. They will immediately vote to be conned by someone else.

  2. Cathie Lloyd says:

    What intrigues me is the decision making process that has led to this gruesome fest. Its well known that preparations have to be made in advance for the demise of a head of state. That’s normal. What is not is the endless sycophancy which seems to have lasted endlessly. I’d be interested to see an analysis of who was involved and how this event has been choreographed. I imagine that its a number of threads coming together. Who for instance had the idea of sending Charles3 to Wales on Owain Glyndwr day after hastily imposing his son as Prince of Wales ? Where did the strict policing rules come from? Why allow the formation of this showy queue when something more discreet could have been arranged? For those of us who want to carry on with our normal lives knowing some details would help to curtail this kind of thing in future.

  3. SleepingDog says:

    Well, the threat is from Cloners, obviously, who want to steal tissue, make copies and vat-brew their own Queen.

    I don’t know if people in this Queue were into public abasement, ghoulish spectacle, a substitute for participation in politics; or were lost in some way, or whatever. But the snaking Queue reminded me of Jörmungandr, the world serpent, whose appearance heralds Ragnarök, the fall of the ruling order. Here you can see it winding around Edinburgh castle:

    1. 220920 says:

      In British mythology, the ouroboros appears as the serpent whose name Jamieson records in his Dictionary of the Scottish Language as ‘Cencrastus’. The serpent, coiled, with its tail in its mouth, is a symbol of wisdom and eternity.

      In his sequel to ‘A Drunk Man Looks at the Thistle’, ‘To Circumjack Cencrastus’, the great modernist poet, Christopher Grieve, employs the ouroborus in the form of Cencrastus to symbolise the fundamental pattern of the universe, to which he links the loss of Scotland’s identity as a nation, the cultural effects of this loss, and the artist’s role in forging a new national identity. Stylistically, his poem comprises a constellation of more or less discrete lyrics and satires in imitation of Eliot, Joyce, and Pound, with whose modernist project – the idiosyncratic, antisyzygal juxtapositioning of thought and image – Grieve identified.

      Grieve’s pursuit of the ouroboros, ‘Cencrastus’, or fundamental meaning, in the person of the poem’s pseudonymous author-protagonist, ‘Hugh MacDiarmid’, isn’t guided by any particular philosophical narrative but, rather, by a playful juxtapositioning of an eclectic collection of ideas drawn from a wide range of literature. In ‘MacDiarmid’, fundamental meaning is to be glimpsed, like an elusive sea-serpent as it occasionally disturbs the water’s surface, in the creative synthesis of the artist rather than in the conceptual constructs of the metaphysician. Nor is that fundamental meaning fixed; it writhes and coils like a snake. Nor is it enduring; it consumes itself from the tail up. The serpent, Cencrastus’ recurs in the poem as the vital creative life-force through which the universe endlessly and inexhaustibly consumes itself.

      Cencrastus, the ouroboros, is simultaneously pursued both transcendentally, through thought, and materially, through image in the poem. There’s no progression in the quest, and the mood of ‘MacDiarmid’, the poet-protagonist, alternates between hope and despair as he glimpses then loses sight of the serpent as it barely breaks the surface of his experience. The lengthy opening section is a microcosm of the poem as a whole. It expresses both an optimistic pessimism and a pessimistic optimism with regard to the ultimate success of the poet-protagonist’s quest for fundamental meaning and introduces most of the ploys by which he hopes to apprehend that meaning.

      One of those ploys is his work as an artist. ‘[T]he poet’s hame is in the serpent’s mooth,’ ‘MacDiarmid’ writes. ‘Poets in throes o’ composition whiles/ See you as fishermen in favourite pools/ May see a muckle fish they canna catch/ Clood-like beneath the glitterin’ sky’. And the poem itself gives presence to this elusive meaning not literally, in its words, but tangibly in the imagery it takes from the world of everyday human experience in which that meaning is embodied. Truth as the oblique revelation of meaning through image rather than its direct exposition in discourse is a classic modernist theme.

      Grieve’s quest has some affinities with that of Eliot in his Four Quartets. Both poets seek to capture in their imagery ‘a moment out of time’, and both wrestle with the difficulties of using language non-discursively or ‘poetically’ to show rather than describe and explain the world.

      This modernist preoccupation with the work of the artist as revelation continues throughout Grieve’s poem. In the late section, ‘North of the Tweed’ a conflict plays out in the mind of ‘MacDiarmid’ between his sensuous awareness of nature’s meaning and his intellectual impatience with the difficulty of catching hold of its moment out of time by discursive means.

      Grieve considered this ability, to give fundamental meaning a concrete presence through the use of imagery derived from ordinary, everyday living and to thereby ‘read’ nature as communicating this meaning to us immediately, in our sense experience, rather than through the media or ‘frame’ of conceptual discourse, to be part of the Scots Genius and the contribution a reborn Scotland could make to world culture. But this ability is not to be found in modern urban and suburban Scotland, where all life is mediated by commodity fetishism; it’s rather to be found in l’ecosse profonde of the countryside and sea-coast, where people are more immediately exposed to the elementality of nature. In ‘North of the Tweed’, ‘MacDiarmid’s’ evocation of his own apprehension of moments out of time is sufficiently sensuous and precise to enable the reader to share viscerally (and not just intellectually) in his experience.

      Part of that Scots Genius is Scottish Presbyterian tradition of the Kirk and its biblical hermeneutics and imagery. According to this tradition, in pursuit of the ouroboros or fundamental meaning, ‘the only road is endless’ and a task only for an elect few: ‘The praise o’ you is no’ for ony man/ Wha seeks to big Jerusalem onywhaur/ And be at ease, for he’s nae suner there/ Than roond its wa’s your fatal music dirls/ And doon they coup like Jericho’s again.’

      ‘MacDIarmid’s’ quarrel with the Scots is that, by refusing to think freely and without their native prejudices, they’re postponing, if not destroying, the possibility of realising the potentiality of their human being.

      Even the Scottish Kirk’s Christ, who in his own ministry caught the spirit of Cencrastus, is not immune from the poet-protagonist’s censure. According to ‘MacDiarmid’, Christ denied true life to his followers when he asked them to be ‘believin in him’ (i.e., to ‘be living in him’ as disciples to a master) rather than in the potentiality within themselves: ‘He should ha’ socht/ Faith in themsel’s like his – no’ faith in him’.

      Christ’s denial of the fundamental meaning of life to his followers is paralleled in Kirk’s denial of the living God (the ouroboros) in preference to an idea of God: ‘The immortal serpent wa’d up in life/ As God in the thochts o’ men”. This image of an ossified God is used throughout the poem to express the poet-protagonist’s frustration both at his fellow Scots’ conservatism in their attachment to the commodity fetishism of modern life and at their apparently irrevocable tethering to that mediated reality.

      ‘MacDiarmid’s’ solution to this estrangement from fundamental meaning is not to escape finally from the temporal into some form of mysticism, but to introduce into human life the qualities of the autonomous life-force of the universe, life’s will to power. MacDiarmid imagines this will to power as an ‘incandescence at the centre of it [the burning bush]’, the flame in the burning’.

      The poem constantly returns to the idea of ‘openness’, which ‘MacDIarmid’ characterises as true freedom, The tragedy of the Scots is that they cannot conceive of true freedom. As modernity has diminished the idea of God by giving it human definition, so its attempt to define freedom results in its dilution and distortion: ‘Freedom is inconceivable. The word/ Betrays the cause.’

      Freedom is not some discursive truth; it’s the ‘pooer to think’, to be forever re-assessing, changing, being inconsistent if necessary. For ‘MacDiarmid’, Cencrastus is ‘the insatiable thocht, the beautiful violent will,/ The restless spirit, the theme o’ my sang’. Within this belief in freedom is contained the modernist faith of humanism, the hope that man can ultimately shape his own destiny: ‘Man’s in the makin’ but henceforth maun mak’ himsel’./ Nature has led him sae faur, up frae the slime/ Gi’en him body and brain–and noo it’s for him/ To mak’ or mar this maikless torso.’

      This modernist faith in the potentiality within us and the modernist insistence that, in order to release that potential, we must ourselves take hold of our lives, is a theme which animates the whole corpus of MacDiarmid’s work, from ‘A Drunk Man…’ to ‘In Memoriam James Joyce’. It is closely related to his Nietzschean emphasis on identity, the need ‘to be yoursel’.

      For ‘MacDIarmid’, the tragedy of the Scottish nation is that it’s lost its distinctive Scottish identity and that, having done so, no longer has any fundamental meaning. It has lost the ouroboros, its ‘mojo’, and ‘MacDiarmid’ explores in both his poetry and his polemic the ramifications of this loss.

      MacDiarmid’s final exploration of the ouroboros is in the long meditative section, ‘The Unconscious Goal of History’. Here the poet-protagonist glimpses us as the unconscious tools of an historical process that is, itself, the fundamental meaning of the universe. Our task is accordingly the Hegelian one of ‘…wauk[in] to the possibility/ O’ workin’ oot and makin’ their destiny/ In fu’ consciousness.’

      The fascistic nature of Grieve’s nationalism is consonant with modernism’s fascination in the interwar years with figures like Mussolini and Hitler and their projects of national rebirth as an antidote to the decadence of bourgeois society, projects in which revelatory myth and symbol were privileged over descriptive ‘scientific’ discourse. The failure of those projects, their collapse into barbarity, contributed greatly to the ‘incedulity towards metanarrative’, to a belief in the ouroboros of fundamental meaning, that marks the rise of postmodernism and its insistence that there is no fundamental meaning to life but only a clamjamfry of the various superficial meanings we give our lives from time to time, none of which can be privileged over any other.

    2. SleepingDog says:

      Having just met Jörmungandr in The God of War, and seen official estimates of 250,000 participants, I have to revise my comparison downwards. This was no world-serpent, hardly a tape-worm by comparison.
      Apparently over 600,000 attended the Isle of Wight Festival in 1970. Maybe a million marched through London in a bid to stop Tony Blair’s war on Iraq. As a show of royalist strength, The Queue was probably a bit underwhelming, yet deviously stretched out. Although to be fair, a lot of royalists wouldn’t be comfortable too far from a toilet, or indeed out in the real world. World leaders, on the other hand, were reportedly swarming thick as flies.

  4. Meg Macleod says:

    So it’s true…many people have stopped thinking for themselves..brains inundated by BBC propaganda…..
    Astonishing that one can no longer disagree without fear of arrest or even appear that one ‘might disagree ‘
    That young woman walking home and followed…..that is ominous

  5. Iain Barker says:

    “Right, everyone. I need to be serious for a moment. Because the greatest thing that ever happened is happening right now.

    I don’t particularly care either way about the Queen. But the queue? The Queue is a triumph of Britishness. It’s incredible.

    Just to be clear: I don’t mean the purpose of the queue. I don’t mean the outpouring of emotion or collective grief or the event at the end and around the queue or the people in the queue. I mean, literally, the queue. The queue itself. It’s like something from Douglas Adams.

    It is the motherlode of queues. It is art. It is poetry. It is the queue to end all queues. It opened earlier today and is already 2.2 miles long. They will close it if it gets to FIVE MILES. That’s a queue that would take TWO HOURS TO WALK at a brisk pace.

    It is a queue that goes right through the entirety of London. It has toilets and water points and websites just for The Queue.

    You cannot leave The Queue. You cannot get into The Queue further down. You cannot hold places in The Queue. There are wristbands for The Queue.

    Once you join The Queue you can expect to be there for days. But you cannot have a chair and a sleeping bag. There is no sleeping in The Queue, for The Queue moves constantly and steadily, day and night. You will be shuffling along at 0.1 miles per hour for days

    There is a YouTube channel, Twitter feed and Instagram page, each giving frequent updates about The Queue. Because the back of The Queue, naturally, keeps moving. To join The Queue requires up to the minute knowledge of where The Queue is now.

    The BBC has live coverage of The Queue on BBC One, and a Red Button service showing the front bit of The Queue.

    NO ONE IN THEIR RIGHT MIND WOULD JOIN THE QUEUE AND YET STILL THEY COME. “Oh, it’ll only be until 6am on Thursday, we can take soup”.

    And the end of the queue is a box. You will walk past the box, slowly, but for no more than a minute. Then you will exit into the London drizzle and make your way home.

    Tell me this isn’t the greatest bit of British performance art that has ever happened? I’m giddy with joy. It’s fantastic. We are a deeply, deeply mad people with an absolutely unshakeable need to join a queue. It’s utterly glorious.”

    1. Lisa says:

      This is brilliant, Iain…laughing aloud while reading your piece about The Queue! I didn’t know The Queue had its own Youtube, Twitter feed, Insta account etc…dear god! So far I’ve been blissfully unaware of this due to keeping radio off and watching only Netflix on TV. I wonder if there’ll be a period of national mourning for The Queue once this farce is all over? Those who eventually exit The Queue Black Hole will doubtless feel something profound is missing in their lives and maybe feel the need to go into yet more prolonged mourning. Thank you! (Such a shame Spitting Image isn’t on just now…what they could have done with The Queue!)

    2. Wul says:

      It does seem comical that Englands biggest visitor attraction is now a queue. How fitting.

      Maybe it could become a permanent fixture, that people would pay to take part in? With the option to “go around again” upon completion, say with a 50% discount.

      If you turn the “n” upside down, then “The Queen” is an anagram of “The Queue”, could make a nice wee marketing GIF?

      What about running queues for other big contemporary events; everyone currently waiting for an NHS operation could form a queue outside Westminster. How long would that be? Bigger than Lizzie’s?

      1. SleepingDog says:

        @Wul, expecting queues to see the Queue? An infinite recursion, not unlike:

    3. 220919 says:

      It’s been said that the British love to queue so much that we’ll join a queue and only afterwards ask what it’s for.

      That’s patently untrue. When the queues started to spiral out of control at our airports, howls of indignation began to drown out the sound of the carbon engines.

      We resent queuing as much as anyone. The only difference is that we have utter respect for the convention and loathe anyone who tries to manipulate it. Perhaps it’s a vestige of the two World Wars, when rationing made queues a necessary part of life. Everyone is equally miserable in a queue, and, with our native egalitarianism, that suits us just fine.

      As a result, we queue for the bus, the cinema, the supermarket checkout, and the toilet, and to view the exhibits in places like Westminster Hall. We actively look for a queue even where none exists, asking anyone who just happens to be standing in front of us, “Is this the end of the queue?”

      I’ve made a study of the queue and its etiquette during my long life of queuing. Here are the cardinal dos and don’ts:

      1. Never jump or push into the queue

      2. If you see someone else push in, glare at them murderously and say, “Excuse me!” in a terse, ironic voice.

      3. Don’t ask the person behind you to mind your place while you visit the toilet. (You should have gone before you joined it.)

      4. If you’re carrying a suitcase or pushing a supermarket trolley, don’t drive it into the heels of the person in front of you. (Unless, of course, they’ve pushed in.)

      5. Feel free to roll your eyes and click your tongue in disgust when the queue moves slowly; such shared rituals cement solidarity. Remember, when it comes to a queue, we’re all in it together.

      6. Likewise, and for the much the same reason, feel free to glare at the person at the front of the queue if they make small talk or otherwise dally with the gatekeeper.

      Happy queuing!

  6. Axel P Kulit says:

    The public reaction may well be to the death of the human being known as the queen.

    Interpreting it as you have done may be a misinterpretation. The response of the elites and the quotes you give may also be misinterpretation. Their attempt to use this for political purposes may well fail or come to nothing.

    1. Their attempt to use this for political purpose may well fail, this is true, but tbis is what we are living through at the moment

    1. Thanks Alan, Irish media also much better, ie sane

  7. Alice says:

    Maybe just maybe the Queue might return home and reflect as to wether they really would they have their own mother subjected to this sickening , totally disrespectful display of elitist propaganda….

    Maybe, very just maybe, their reflections will reveal their taking part in a form of collective hysteria …..a person should be mourned, respected and buried in the opposite way of how this is happening now.

    1. JP58 says:

      Early last week the media and section of country stopped mourning dead Queen and started wallowing in the emotions and spectacle and sycophancy of it all. I can never quite look at many supposed reputable journalists in same light again.
      It all appears a bit bizarre to me and many others I would imagine.

  8. Mike Fenwick says:

    It too was a queue, it however was in Arbroath, at the commemoration of the Declaration of Arbroath earlier this year.

    A queue, and now one of many such queues that have formed across Scotland. Queues formed for a specific purpose, namely to sign a document as part of “The Declaration of an individual Sovereign Scot” initiative.

    For those who are unaware of this initiative, and the growing support and participation it is receiving from all across Scotland, a full record since it started in April 2021 can be found here:

    Amongst the explanations given on that page is why all signed Declarations have been and will continue to be lodged at the UN HQ in New York, lodged so that they are available to all 193 Members, and why it adopts “already established” international law as opposed to domestic law.

    Perhaps, mirroring our forbears, and the Declaration of Arbroath, it is our turn, in our time, to document our intention to regain the independence of Scotland – and not simply await permission to do so.

    The initiative is an open invitation to all Sovereign Scots who no longer agree to be denied their voice, and wish to do so by signing their name to their individaul Declaration, with copies of each signed document being retained, for eventual compilation into one – “The Declarations of Sovereign Scots!”

    1. dave says:

      Great Mike How does yin sign on to this document ?

      1. Mike Fenwick says:

        I am using a post from the link I gave in my post – hope that is ok.

        Online is how it started with the involvement of The National – but almost immediately it was severly interfered with – basically hacked so had to be discontinued and alternatives found – so over a year ago I committed to attend all rallies/events and most recently (but only just started) via Yes Groups/Stalls. The rallies have taken me all over Scotland, and I heven’t missed one since making that committment – in fact again on that link you can see photos of the actual queue that formed in Arbroath.

        Right now – I will be taking blank forms to the two remaining events/rallies – Yestival in Glasgow and AUOB in Edinburgh, and supplies of forms are (but only just) beginning to be available at Yes Groups/Yes Stalls.

        1. dave says:

          Thanks Mike. Is it possible to have a DECLARATION blank form on this media – Bella Caledonia? That way It can be copied making distribution easy.

  9. Morag Forsyth says:

    It’s like being caught up in some grotesque Gilbert and Sullivan operetta. Think it was seeing the royals, all in uniform, Princess Anne in some sort of weird booted outfit, which tipped me over the edge!!! And the obscene speed with which everything to do with Charles has gone through. The snarly one is making up for lost time.
    Can’t say I was a republican at the start of this month but, by heck, I sure am now. And as someone who’s in her 80th year, the urge to demonstrate in some way is gathering strength.

    1. Welsh_Siôn says:

      In keeping with Scotto-Cymro friendship, a petition you may like to sign, Morag et al::

      Remove Andrew Windsor as Earl of Inverness

  10. Alastair McIntosh says:

    That’s a most insightful essay, Mike. I was especially grabbed by this sentence: “There seems to be a sense of delayed violence in the air.” No wonder. An overwhelming military presence that appropriated the spiritual. In some ways that’s the world, but not the only omen.

    I suspect that a lot of us have been holding off until she was laid to rest with due respect for her ethic of service. But serving, what? Whiteness, patriarchy, militarism, aristocracy and opulence seemed overwhelmingly to be the order of the day, and its attempt at epoch-making.

    Carl Jung drew a lot on the French anthropologist Lucien Lévy-Bruhl’s concept of the “participation mystique” (PM), though it’s sense of “mystical participation” is spiritually unfortunate. What LLB saw was a sense of being caught up, participating, in a “mystical” though “mythical” would put it better, cultural undercurrent. It is the opposite of Jung’s “individuation”, becoming a true individual, not dragged by the crowd. Today I think we saw a widespread PM. Yes, there was depth and many moving moments. But let’s keep our eye on the ball. This was about sustaining a myth. The question is: does it express liberation theology’s “preferential option for the poor”? Does it give life?

    1. Thanks Alastair. I felt that the ‘sense of delayed violence’ went several ways. Certainly by the overwhelming military presence – and display of (male) and state power – which was very choreographed and deliberate. Monarchy is Empire and Empire is violence, and that was very present too. But I also think its present in that all of the strife suffering and militancy about collapsing social conditions was repressed and put on hold for the occasion. That doesn’t just go away when it’s put on hold.

      In terms of the Christian Nationalist aspect of the whole phenomenon – the message (over and over and over) about the Queen’s faith – and the (apparent) outpouring of ‘love’ for her – it’s all so asymmetrical. The ‘love’ or projected affection for one individual has no other manifestation – where is the ‘love’ for those many in this country who are suffering? All you had was the paltry token of some blankets from the Q being donated to the homeless charities. Given the immense wealth of the family and the epic scale of the grieving – nothing was done at all to turn this into a beneficiary cause. None of this energy was captured.

      1. SleepingDog says:

        @Editor, indeed, all the coverage of the relatively modern royal practice of sealed wills I have seen in relation to the Queen’s will, relates to tax avoidance. But what if the really shocking story, to be kept secret for perhaps 90 years, is that Queen, a patron of hundreds of charities, left little or nothing to them?

        Put in context, I have read reports that the Queen gave £2 million to Virginia Giuffre’s charity “as part of Prince Andrew’s settlement with his accuser”, and that her private donations have been described as “rare”. It is extraordinary that someone so closely linked to charities gets ever richer and keeps bending the law to enrich themselves and their families, and yet we are unable to gauge the cosmic depths of their hypocrisy, despite paying for their excruciatingly lavish lifestyles and expensive entertaining of foreign dictators/arms buyers.

        If I was a trustee of a charity whose patron was the ex-Queen, I would be looking for more than £2m forced out of her for paying off her son’s sex-crime accuser; but then if I was such a trustee, my silence may have been bought off years ago by some bauble.

        Anyway, there is so much reputation-burnishing, gross inefficiencies, fraud, exploitation and incompetence in charity in the UK (not to mention appalling social cheating, since private schools are often charities), much of their work would be better funded by taxation. Yet the royal family have set perhaps the worst example on taxation and abuse of public funds in the country.

      2. 220920 says:

        The Queen qua Queen isn’t liable to pay tax, so she can’t be avoiding that liability.

  11. Gercon says:

    David Beckham and Tilda Swinton queue for twelve hours? Really?

Help keep our journalism independent

We don’t take any advertising, we don’t hide behind a pay wall and we don’t keep harassing you for crowd-funding. We’re entirely dependent on our readers to support us.

Subscribe to regular bella in your inbox

Don’t miss a single article. Enter your email address on our subscribe page by clicking the button below. It is completely free and you can easily unsubscribe at any time.