Great Britain bows to its Queen

AThe former prime minister came in the morning Theresa May in a BBC studio and recalled in well-chosen words the weekly audiences she had had with the Queen, her political vision, her amazing knowledge of detail and her sense of humour. But as May described her feelings, she sounded like an ordinary folk woman: "I'm sitting here like so many people across the country thinking, this is a moment that we all hoped never happened." After after a pause, she said, "I'm trying to adjust to the fact that she's no longer around."

That tried the day after Queen's death Elizabeth II very many in the country. Everywhere people made their way to places that connect them with the monarch, in Balmoral, where the Queen had died the previous afternoon, in Windsor, where she had resided most of the time since the death of her husband Philip, and of course in London, where thousands had flocked to Buckingham Palace overnight to lay flowers in front of the fence in the pouring rain. Some seemed helpless, some in a trance, some just grateful. Many wore black clothing that Friday and in some places, gestures or conversation sparked that sense of community that Brits had experienced on a lighter note at the Platinum Jubilee celebrations in June.

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