Author Elena Lappin on a photo of Queen culture

I had a piano lesson at the Queen's funeral. I felt relieved when my teacher offered not to cancel. Everything else was closed: shops, offices, restaurants... On the way to the teacher's house, my street in a north London suburb was as quiet as Israel on Yom Kippur. No traffic noise, no one on the road except for a young Slovak mother who was talking to her baby in the pram and talking to a relative on the phone at the same time. Her unfamiliar (but familiar-sounding to my Czech ear) voice echoed in the silence. Everyone else either lined the procession or followed what was happening at home on television. Of course, when I say everyone, I don't mean it literally. I know some people who tried to ignore the spectacle. For myself, I took a break and, as usual, watched "Perry Mason" (shot in the 1950s, when Elizabeth became Queen at 25) at 3pm. But I couldn't escape the rhythm of the television coverage, which was set by the slow pace of the trained horses. Horse droppings were prominently displayed along the route (some of the flowers thrown by the mourners landed directly on them).

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