Londoners explain why they don’t mourn Queen Elizabeth II in person: NPR

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Anjelo Disons poses for a photo after speaking about his views on recent events surrounding the Queen’s death and the monarchy at the Peckham Festival in London.

Elizabeth Dalziel for NPR


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Anjelo Disons poses for a photo after speaking about his views on recent events surrounding the Queen’s death and the monarchy at the Peckham Festival in London.

Elizabeth Dalziel for NPR

LONDON – While London is full of huge crowds and long queues, many people are fine to sit away from the pomp, circumstance and bustle that comes with the Queen’s funeral Elizabeth II.

In the multicultural south-east neighborhood of Peckham, it appeared many people were spending their Sunday as usual.

Many attendees of the Peckham Festival – a series of workshops, performances and exhibitions which closed this year’s edition on Sunday – said they mourned Elizabeth as a human being but not necessarily as a monarch , as they did not feel emotionally connected to the institution. .

People didn’t plan their Mondays around the funeral (but said they could watch it on TV if it suited them) and didn’t feel like they were missing out on anything by not queuing to visit the queen’s coffin. As a woman named Hortence Mbyi said, “I just have things to do, don’t I?”

Hortence Mbyi poses with her dog after speaking about her views on recent events surrounding the Queen’s death and the monarchy at the Peckham Festival in London.

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Hortence Mbyi poses with her dog after speaking about her views on recent events surrounding the Queen’s death and the monarchy at the Peckham Festival in London.

Elizabeth Dalziel for NPR

“When you bring a personality to the Queen, when I see that Elizabeth passed away and she owned dogs and had a family, it makes me sad because someone’s grandmother passed away, someone’s mother died,” she said. “But in terms of ‘the Queen of England is dead’, that doesn’t bother me at all.”

Mbyi says the royals don’t do much beyond serve as a tourist attraction – and don’t do anything specifically for them, even though they pay taxes on them. She “awaits abolition”.

A woman named Kesta said the death of anyone is sad, but so is the symbol of what the Queen represents. Many countries still feel the negative impact of the British Empire and the legacy of colonialism, which it finds impossible to separate from the monarchy itself.

Annie Garvey, Kesta and Nancy chat at the Peckham Festival in London.

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Annie Garvey, Kesta and Nancy chat at the Peckham Festival in London.

Elizabeth Dalziel for NPR

“So ultimately I don’t feel sad about the death of a woman when a country is in crisis, people want to heat their homes or feed their children,” she added. “And I think there’s a lot of other sad things going on right now. So, you know, I could watch [the funeral]but I don’t feel anything special about it.”

Musician Anjelo Disons agrees it is particularly difficult to see so much money spent on the procedure amid the UK’s cost of living crisis. He recognizes the importance of this historic moment, but also believes it could be an opportunity to rethink and perhaps reform the British monarchy.

Sajida Khan, center wearing a headscarf, enjoys the musical entertainment at the Peckham Festival, where she spoke about her views on recent events surrounding the Queen’s death and the monarchy.

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Sajida Khan, center wearing a headscarf, enjoys the musical entertainment at the Peckham Festival, where she spoke about her views on recent events surrounding the Queen’s death and the monarchy.

Elizabeth Dalziel for NPR

Say, who wears a necklace with a pendant in the shape of Africa, notes that the queen meant a lot to her mother, who is from Uganda.

“However, for me personally, I would be telling lies if I said she meant the most to me. … I think people are moving towards new ways of thinking and whether or not we need a monarchy,” a he declared. said.

Sajida Khan, a retired teacher who emigrated from Pakistan some four decades ago, choked up trying to describe what the Queen meant to her, describing her as a devoted and gracious person who, like everyone , has had ups and downs in his life. She is able to separate the Queen from the darker parts of Britain’s past.

Charlotte Urwin and James Waller walk by mural art at the Peckham Festival in London.

Elizabeth Dalziel for NPR


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“I don’t see her in that light, that she was a cruel person or anything that happened in the past or is still happening now,” she said. “I don’t think she had anything to do with it. That’s what I understand. I could be wrong.”

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, Khan says, adding that she would never convince her daughter to be a royalist or a monarchist. She would personally like to see William be king one day.

“And after that, maybe if it doesn’t exist, then I won’t be around to see.”

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