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Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral will be unlike anything the UK has ever seen in terms of its sheer size and significance, a Royal commentator has predicted. The nation will bid a final farewell to the former Monarch, who died on September 8, on Monday, with vast numbers already having queued for many hours to pay their respects during her lying in state at Westminster Hall.
The funeral will be I think, be spectacular and enormous and deservedly so
Britain has not witnessed a state funeral since that of Winston Churchill in 1965, while even the send-off of Diana, Princess of Wales in 1997 would likely be eclipsed by that of the Queen, Jonathan Sacerdoti said.
The regular contributor to media outlets including the BBC, Fox News and Sky News was commenting in the midst of a tumultuous week which has seen King Charles III accede to the throne and his son William become the Prince of Wales.
Mr Sacerdoti said: “The funeral will be I think, be spectacular and enormous and deservedly so.
“Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II deserves a large and very respectful, well-attended state funeral.
“I think that we won’t have seen anything like it because it hasn’t happened for so long.
“And state funerals are big affairs at the best of times, but even those that we could remember during our lifetimes, are nothing in comparison to what I think we’re going to see for the Queen.
“She was a giant, not just of our time but of all time. She was the longest serving Monarch and that makes her not just important historically, but also iconic.”
As the Queen’s reign wore on, the public had been granted “unprecedented access” to her, Mr Sacerdoti pointed out.
He said: “I think that she’s become the most photographed and portrayed woman in the world, possibly ever.
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“And it’s impossible that we shouldn’t have this opportunity to pay our respects and to honour her service.
“Britain also does these events so well, especially royal ones – we’ve seen many royal weddings over the years and they are spectacular and perfectly organised.
“This is almost immeasurably more important insofar as it’s more unique.”
Speaking about Diana’s funeral a quarter of a century ago, Mr Sacerdoti said: “Even that in the 90s didn’t have the reach that this will have today.
“Things like this will be seen across the world on TV live but also on social media in immense detail.”
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Referring to the aftermath of the Queen’s death, he added: “We’ve already seen by the way, a certain level of access to the media that’s been quite unprecedented.
“I was absolutely amazed and fascinated to watch Prince Charles when he arrived back at Buckingham Palace from Balmoral the first time, get out of his car and went to shake hands with all of the crowd.
“They had a BBC-led film crew pulled to all the media following him right next to him as he shook every single hand and even received a couple of kisses from well wishers.
“And not just a camera, but a microphone. We got to hear the words people were saying to the King, members of the public for the first time meeting their king, what they said to him, we got to hear his words back and we got to hear his aides directing the public and him and the planning going on around him. It was almost like a behind the scenes video.”
He explained: “They decided that they that the public should see the king immediately meeting the citizens of Britain and immediately know how they felt about him and how he was responding to them.
“I just think that was so important and I think we may see a similar level of detail reflected in the coverage of the funeral. It will be done respectfully.
“But if you think back to the coronation, when they had this question of how close the cameras could be, well, today, there’s no such question.
“We will see that funeral represented in all its spectacular glory is deserved by the Queen and I think it will be watched the world over it will be one of the biggest if not the biggest watched piece of live TV coverage for decades.”
Mr Sacerdoti suggested the approach made full use of techniques perfected during coverage of celebrity events.
However, he emphasised: “This is not a celebrity event. This is an event of massive historic importance, and we got to see it as it happens.
“We got to hear the whispers the directions, we got to see the faces of his aides as they worried and moved around him, making sure everything runs smoothly.”
Such an approach sent a “massive message” and had not been accidental, Mr Sacerdoti stressed.
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