‘Undemocratic facade’: four people on why they avoided the Queen’s funeral

As millions watched live or on TV, many could not, or chose not to, take part in Monday’s national mourning

Millions of people watched the coverage of the Queen’s funeral on Monday, but many others decided to give it a miss.

Four people explain why they chose not to follow proceedings.

‘Like most hospitality staff, I have to work’

Melanie says it feels wrong to work and miss the day of mourning. Photograph: Melanie

“Like most hospitality staff, I wasn’t able to mark this historic occasion. I’m in a kitchen, working, feeding burgers to the mourning British people. I think I would watch if I could – I’m in no way a massive monarchist but it’s a historic occasion and there’s an element of respect to someone who gave a lifetime of service.

“I’ll be incredibly busy once the TV broadcast finishes. Today you can’t buy a loaf of bread in some supermarkets but you can order a Jägerbomb. We don’t get double pay or a day in lieu. It feels wrong to be open and not get the opportunity to join in on the historic occasion when it’s a national day of mourning. It feels like you’re excluded.”
Melanie, 50, gastropub chef, Lancashire

‘I’m avoiding this undemocratic facade’

David Weaver
David Weaver says the funeral shows how Britain is reliant on undemocratic institutions. Photograph: David Weaver

“I’m not watching it in any way, shape or form. I’m avoiding any more of this anachronistic and undemocratic facade. I’m at work – we’re very busy right now. We’ve all had to bring in packed lunches because Tesco is closed.

“It feels crazy to be looking at the BBC and every newspaper and then speaking to all my friends – it feels so out of touch. It feels like we’re being gaslit into caring. I get that there’s a time to grieve but the fact that the next king goes straight into power – this should be the time to talk about it and the future of the monarchy. A large amount of the population don’t care or dislike the monarchy but none of these people are being heard. I’m not disrespectful to the Queen but as a system it seems so out of time. It just shows Britain to be reliant on undemocratic institutions. The only way this can change is if people realise they have the power to make that change. We’re in thrall to the status quo.”
David Weaver, 36, Glasgow, concert promoter

‘I was incensed when William was made Prince of Wales’

“I’m not going near a television or radio for the duration of the funeral. I’m working outside on our smallholding, but am refraining from using machinery or noisy tools out of respect to my neighbours – although these are predominantly cattle and sheep. Personally, I was incensed when Charles Windsor, in his first address as monarch, gave the title “Prince of Wales” to his son William. I don’t think of myself as a subject, just an ordinary citizen living in Wales. I would have liked to contribute to decisions about those who use the name of the nation I live in.

“I don’t feel it’s right that somebody should impose on the people of Wales such an unearned title. ‘Prince of Wales’ should be held by someone for perhaps five years before someone else is elected. That would be a respectful thing to do.”
Ian, retired headteacher, Llancynfelyn, Machynlleth, Ceredigion

‘The excessive mourning has turned me into a republican’

Helen Greaves says the intense multi-day media coverage has turned her off.
Helen Greaves says the intense media coverage has turned her off. Photograph: Helen Greaves/Guardian Community

“I was interested in the funeral as a street event, but the fact this all has been going on for so long has changed my mind. I’m staying in the garden and plan to see the headlines on the news. It suddenly occurred to me that the monarchy can only exist if we believe in it, and I feel I’m being coerced into believing King Charles to be a superior human being, while any sensible person knows we are all equal.

“I once sat in the same cinema as Charles, and as he walked past, it was a little bit like when a fridge door opens. I’m sure he’s perfectly nice in person, but in order to come across this way, you have to believe that you’re special and different. It feels very uncomfortable and bizarre to me.

“I think the mourning period should have been three days maximum. The fact that it has been this excessive has probably turned me into a republican.”
Helen Greaves, 62, writer, London


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