Peter Hitchens: Paying my respects to the Queen, I saw the glory of nations, the majesty of death and its inevitability, the distillation of 1,000 years of kingship, still astonishingly alive in an age which neither understands nor much likes it. No, Peter, YOU don’t understand it or the fact that the ‘royal’ family sits atop the very ‘bossy’ authority that you complain about

I suppose that I had more or less taken leave of my senses as I set out for Bermondsey on Saturday afternoon to queue for the Queen’s lying-in-state.

The decision was a mixture of bravado, instinct and careful plotting. Hoping to evade various bans and restrictions, I had turned my old waxed jacket into an item of luggage, its huge pockets stuffed with books, in case of boredom, and weighed down with a phone bank and a wriggling mass of wires, because my mobile would certainly go flat on me during the long night.

Before setting off, I wolfed a bacon cheeseburger in the (correct) belief that I would then not feel hungry for hours. Thirst would be a different problem.

Why was I doing this? As a monarchist, I am cool to the point of chilliness, with no special love for the actual Windsor family. I have never owned a Coronation mug.

It is more or less pure reason, combined with the joyful duty of defeating republicans in argument, which causes me to rally to Crown and Sceptre. But I was damned if I was going to miss this and so spend the rest of my life wishing I had been there.

Read more: Peter Hitchens: Paying my respects to the Queen, I saw the glory of nations, the majesty of death and its inevitability, the distillation of 1,000 years of kingship, still astonishingly alive in an age which neither understands nor much likes it. No, Peter, YOU don’t understand it or the fact that the ‘royal’ family sits atop the very ‘bossy’ authority that you complain about

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