Jhere is a famous prayer of Cardinal Newman evoking the time when “the restless world is silent, and the fever of life is passed, and our work is finished”. Unlikely to happen at a state funeral, do you think. And in many ways, the funeral was like the Queen’s entire public life: a parade of pageant, pomp, ritual and ceremony performed before an audience of billions.
Yet, towards the end of the service, a startling change in mood occurred. The busy world was indeed quenched, the fever of life, and of pomp and circumstance, subsided. And it happened in a remarkable way. Before the Queen’s coffin was carried from Westminster Abbey to begin its final journey through London, her piper,