Handkerchiefs and flags on hand as royal fans prepare for Queen’s funeral
CHRIS SKELTON / Stuff
Marion Turner is a distant relative of the Queen and has adorned her home with royal memorabilia. But for the funeral, she will set up a bench alone in front of the TV.
A comfortable seat in front of the living room TV, handkerchiefs close at hand and drinking “a whole bottle of Bailey’s” are how some royalists choose to mark the Queen’s funeral.
While watching the Monday night service together after witnessing 10 days of global mourning could be a chance for royal fans to share their emotions, many will mark the historic moment alone.
Recognizing such an important royal occasion is a priority for Marion Turner, 65, from Christchurch – she is a distant relative of the Queen, proud to say that ‘her mother’s uncle married the Queen’s second cousin’.
His Parklands home is unmistakably a shrine to Queen Elizabeth II.
Pictures, ornaments and miniature statues of the Queen, her servants and London Bridge adorn a window in a show of patriotism, while outside the Union Jack flies at half mast and a homemade banner “yards and yards long” hangs in front, “up to the window and across the front of the house,” she said.
“I had fun doing it, it looks really nice.”
IAIN MCGREGOR / Stuff
Royal fans and the New Zealand delegation prepare for the state funeral of Queen Elizabeth II.
For the funeral, Turner said she would have a “special meal” and dessert before feasting on a milk liqueur.
“I think I’ll have the whole bottle of Bailey’s tonight, because [the funeral] going all night,” she said with a cheeky little laugh.
The funeral begins at 10 p.m. New Zealand time and airs on TVNZ1 and Three, with special coverage starting at 7:30 p.m. on TVNZ1.
Two thousand world leaders, royals and friends of the Queen are expected at the state funeral at Westminster Abbey.
Lisbeth Clement, from Christchurch, is a die-hard fan of all things royal, having listened to the royal wedding of Prince Philip and Princess Elizabeth on the radio when she was just 5, catching a glimpse of the Queen Mother at the on his 100th birthday as he stood with crowds in London and shared a lengthy handshake with Prince Harry during his visit to Dunedin in 2015.
Souvenir spoons, magazines and books are just part of her huge horde of Royal Family memorabilia, but Monday night will be nothing but silent recognition, she said.
“I’m just going to sit here quietly by myself…and watch from 7:30 until the end.”
She said there would be tissues ready.
“It will be very emotional, but I can imagine myself being there because I’ve been there many times – I know what it’s like to be in the crowd.”
In the Christchurch suburb of Hornby, Anne Munro will also spend a dark evening.
Murno said he met the Queen in 1963 during a royal tour when she was chosen to serve her at the former United Service Hotel in Christchurch’s Cathedral Square.
“It was quite an honor to be chosen to serve her.”
He was shown how to curtsy to the Queen, “and it was finger touching at the time, you had to be finger touching,” Munro said.
She will have “many boxes of tissues” as she watches the funeral from the comfort of a La-Z-Boy chair.
“I am really very sad. We will never see his fellows again; she was unique.
Another Hornby resident, Avryll Sixtus, will ‘have a party…all by himself’ watching the funeral, she said.
She said she was “steeped” in royalty as a child, growing up in Windsor and regularly being taken to see the Changing of the Guard.
“I’ve had royals in my life, my whole life, and it’s been wonderful.”