Say what you like about dear old dog-eared Blighty, but we still do some things better than anyone else. As send-offs go, that was absolutely world class.
From the stunning display of military precision to the glorious surroundings, the stirring music, the assembled heads of state (the sheer power wattage in the Abbey was enough to solve the energy crisis once and for all), the Queen’s funeral in every aspect matched the grandeur of her reign.
As her coffin was lifted on to the gun carriage at Westminster Hall, as the pipes and drums struck up, I felt a real jolt to the heart.
The mixture of beauty and brutality of a marching band never fails to elicit strong emotions, but this was off the scale.
And I used to think there was no sound more heartbreaking than a lone trumpeter playing The Last Post, but the haunting lament Sleep, Dearie, Sleep, played by the Sovereign’s Piper of the Royal Regiment of Scotland, Warrant Officer Class 1 (Pipe Major) Paul Burns, was one of the saddest…