The Daily Telegraph

A new season is being ushered in with a new reign

- By Joe Shute

THE British weather often has a curious habit of reflecting the national mood. Ever since the Queen’s death and subsequent period of national mourning, there has been a definite chill in the air.

At times in recent days angry clouds have blackened the skies. Mourners queuing up outside royal residences across the country, and at Westminste­r Hall, have been subjected to some significan­t dumps of rain.

That they have endured it all without complaint is, of course, its own quiet tribute to the stoicism of the woman they are waiting to honour. In headscarf and Barbour, the Queen could happily withstand whatever weather her kingdom threw her way.

Following the death of her father, King George VI, in February 1952, the weather was similarly tumultuous. Newspapers reported that his coffin was transporte­d to a “dreary London, cold and damp under low clouds”.

As with this week, hundreds of thousands queued along the Thames back then to pay tribute to the King’s body as it lay in state at Westminste­r Hall in bitingly cold temperatur­es.

One report of the time noted the rain spoiled the sombre outfits of many mourners, with people forced to pull on brightly-coloured headscarve­s and waterproof­s over their dark clothes.

Video footage from the day of the funeral itself shows mourners swaddled in thick coats as they lined the streets. Despite the cold, so many still turned out that people had to attach mirrors on to sticks in an attempt to catch sight of the funeral procession through the crowds.

The weather on Monday for the Queen’s funeral looks fortunatel­y benign. According to the Met Office, high pressure will dominate over this weekend and into Monday.

There may be the odd outbreak of rain in the West, but things should remain fine and dry, if decidedly autumnal. For change is unmistakab­ly in the air and even as we lament all that has passed, a new season is being ushered in with a new reign.

 ?? ?? The queue to view the King’s coffin in 1952
The queue to view the King’s coffin in 1952

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