This week, on the other side of the Atlantic, the heads of government of about 200 countries of the world are supposed to meet at the United Nations General Assembly in New York. But before that, an even bigger gathering of top leaders took place to pay their last respects to Queen Elizabeth. Among the dozen or three surviving monarchies in the world today, this solemn yet lavish funeral testifies to the British royal family’s distinctive position.
Almost all the current monarchies were represented in this event, were the leaders of the Commonwealth countries. There were also presidents and prime ministers of powerful countries in the world. The presence of these top leaders also proved the influence of the royal family in the soft diplomacy of the United Kingdom.
Following the protocol of the host country, they gave some concessions in their daily facilities without saying a word. With a handful of exceptions, almost all of them, except US President Joe Biden, gathered at a designated location in west London and crammed into a bus to attend the state prayer service at Westminster Abbey without an aide or personal bodyguard. This is a new addition to the constitution.
The Queen’s state honor and farewell ceremony was simultaneously full of military and religious ceremony. Virtually all the rituals that have been organized since his death have been either military or religious. Many of the arrangements followed centuries-old royal traditions. Again, many things have happened with the modern age technology and lifestyle.