On 8 September 2022, Queen Elizabeth II died. It represented the end of
an era that was almost incomprehensible in its span, from a time when
Britain was an imperial power recovering from the destruction of World
War II to the modern day. Her reign comprised the whole living memory of
the vast majority of the UK’s citizens.
When her death was announced, the UK entered an immediate state of
mourning, both official and unofficial. Crowds flocked to Buckingham
Palace, perhaps to await further announcements or perhaps just to be
among other people at a time of uncertainty. The atmosphere was palpably
of history taking place, but also of confusion – an expectation that
something should happen, but without a clear understanding of what.
In the week after her death, floral tributes to the Queen were so
numerous that a special area of Green Park had to be laid out to store
them. The volume of tributes reached its height on 19 September, the day
of the Queen’s funeral.