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Why are people so desperate to 'be a part' of history right now?

127 replies

CuteAsDucks · 11/09/2022 15:39

I understand we're living through a significant moment, but I don't really get the lengths people are going to to 'be a part' of said history.

I'm watching the news and the amount of people outside Buckingham Palace saying they've travelled for hours because they just HAD to be a part of this, I'm finding it quite mind boggling.

I can't imagine travelling across the country just to simply 'be there', or waiting for hours in huge crowds to see a glimpse of a hearse go by, or even camping out for DAYS to walk past a coffin lying in state as some people have said they will be doing.

If they were all dedicated royalists I would understand 100%, but I doubt all the grinning, laughing, selfie takers outside Buckingham Palace fit that description. I think it's rather odd and distasteful that people are using someones death to have a 'fun' day out. Do they think the history books are going to care that David from Bristol was there in person?

Surely we're all a part of history right now just by living in the same timeline? No need for all the crass selfies outside the palace or ghoulish desire to stare at a coffin containing a dead woman we didn't even know.

We look back now at Princess Dianas death and cringe at how the public acted, I can't help but wonder if we'll be doing the same thing in the future regarding The Queens death.

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girlmom21 · 11/09/2022 16:21

Don't you find it fascinating to talk to your elderly relatives about the things that happened in their lifetimes that you'll never get the opportunity to experience? I wouldn't travel to London if you paid me, but people going out to see her coffin pass by is only the same as everyone going to see the Olympic torch, really. In fact it's way more symbolic.

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latetothefisting · 11/09/2022 16:31

I can vaguely understand the rationale for going to watch the coronation or funeral or whatever, because at least something is 'happening' (albeit all you'll see of it is 2 seconds of a car driving past), but yeah going up to BP or Windsor just to hang around the gates outside?

All the people filming Charles, Kate, William, etc recently were the worst. Imagine going home and showing your friends 'Here's me shoving my phone in a grieving man's face hours after he lost his mother.'

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SD1978 · 11/09/2022 16:32

Same reason strangers turn up at crash sites or other tragedies. The drama of being involved in something whilst having absolutely no real stake in it.

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CredibilityProblem · 11/09/2022 16:32

I remember the huge 24 hour queues to visit the Queen Mum's coffin, twenty years ago and long before Instagram. People wanted to say they'd been there, just as they did for the Coronation, King George's funeral and all the Jubilees and Royal Weddings.

The fact that there's been so much talk in the last few days of the Queen's role as link with the past, and the fact that everyone who ever had the slightest brush with her is recounting their tales (in a nice way, in a spirit of remembrance) means that I think that people are more aware just now that the time that they stood and doffed their metaphorical hats as the hearse passed, or stood in line all night to pass the coffin will be a story that they'll tell their grandchildren in the twenty second century on their way to a day trip to Mars.

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Sparklingbrook · 11/09/2022 16:34

FOMO I think.

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CuteAsDucks · 11/09/2022 16:41

latetothefisting · 11/09/2022 16:31

I can vaguely understand the rationale for going to watch the coronation or funeral or whatever, because at least something is 'happening' (albeit all you'll see of it is 2 seconds of a car driving past), but yeah going up to BP or Windsor just to hang around the gates outside?

All the people filming Charles, Kate, William, etc recently were the worst. Imagine going home and showing your friends 'Here's me shoving my phone in a grieving man's face hours after he lost his mother.'

Imagine going home and showing your friends 'Here's me shoving my phone in a grieving man's face hours after he lost his mother.'

I know 😭 😭 Do they actually think people will be impressed?

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CuteAsDucks · 11/09/2022 16:42

Westernesse · 11/09/2022 16:17

Some people just have to find ways of making everything about themselves, even if it is only in a small way. It’s a deep-seated need they have.

I agree

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Dylanesque · 11/09/2022 16:46

I don't get it either. I have my own history and it's that which is important to me. Not the history of a stranger. But I guess the pageantry provides a spot of colour in drab little lives

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Freedomfighters · 11/09/2022 16:48

Plenty of people participated in these royal events way before social media. For many British people it's meaningful and forms part of our british culture.

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ElusiveWhale · 11/09/2022 16:50

dudsville · 11/09/2022 15:51

Some people like to do things that you don't like to do. I also am not a royalist but it doesn't boggle my mind that they exist and want to do activities that are in line with that interest

Yes, this. I'm not remotely a royalist (well a republican really) but if that's what people want to do, it's up to them. There's a real sneering tone at the choices some people make, it's very odd.

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Thethreecs · 11/09/2022 16:55

Personally I'm watching it on TV and think it's lovely seeing the amount of people out showing their support. It would be awful sad if the streets were quiet and people free.

I guess people would be there if the Queen was alive and travelling through the streets, they'd be cheering and showing support. This is their last chance to do so.

It must be an overwhelming feeling for the family to see the crowds and see just how much people loved her.

Not living in the UK myself I feel like I'm being a rubber necker sitting here watching, but I can understand why people would want to be there and experiencing the emotions and history first hand.

I haven't seen anyone taking selfies with the coffin and that's rather sad if they have. Personally I thought the people grabbing King Charles yesterday and kissing him and saying they were so "happy", when interviewed a little crass, more so than people taking pictures.

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MarshaBradyo · 11/09/2022 16:55

ElusiveWhale · 11/09/2022 16:50

Yes, this. I'm not remotely a royalist (well a republican really) but if that's what people want to do, it's up to them. There's a real sneering tone at the choices some people make, it's very odd.

Yes this is what I notice more than people turning up

Cultures around the world have various ways for people to participate with events like this

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WoopsIdiditagain1 · 11/09/2022 16:58

Each to their own. I don't get it. An old lady died at the grand old age of 96. She had a great innings. It's sad for her family because they knew and loved her. I don't understand anything above that.

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Ted27 · 11/09/2022 17:01

The Queen herself went out with Princess Margaret to join the crowds outside Buckingham Palace at the end of the war. I'm sure she would have understood the need to gather

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Mamamia7962 · 11/09/2022 17:04

Well centuries ago people used to gather to watch someone being hung, drawn and quartered so I guess it's just human nature to gather at public events.

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CuteAsDucks · 11/09/2022 17:05

Mamamia7962 · 11/09/2022 17:04

Well centuries ago people used to gather to watch someone being hung, drawn and quartered so I guess it's just human nature to gather at public events.

Yeah makes sense

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whereamu · 11/09/2022 17:09

@bellac11

Even at historical battles, because in the old days they were planned in advance as to where the battle would take place, people turned up to spectate, sell goods, cheer on their husbands/fathers etc.

I have never heard that before or seen it on a tv programme. Fascinating!

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Crunchymum · 11/09/2022 17:10

I'm very "live and let live" about it.

It's not for me. I'm a born and bred Londoner and have absolutely no desire to see the Queen laying in state. I respect other people's choice will be different though.

I don't mind all the official stuff but I have eye rolled at a few things ( that poem for example) but I am not going to piss on other people's choices and feelings.

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Crikeyalmighty · 11/09/2022 17:13

Have no idea, we live in Windsor but away at moment- guaranteed to be nuts when we get back with shoving people who just like to be around TV crew etc ! I'm sorry but was like this at jubilee too.

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Lovelydovey · 11/09/2022 17:13

I’m debating whether I go and see the queen lying in state after work one day next week (the queues might be the deciding factor here). The UK does pomp and circumstance very well and it makes me proud to be British (not much else does at the moment tbh) and she was an amazing stateswoman. I would like to pay my respects to her.

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TartanGirl1 · 11/09/2022 17:14

The cortège practically went past my house, people were there for hours. I don't get it!

I get it if you are a royalist but I do many people I know we're there that normally can't stand the RF.

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poorbuthappy · 11/09/2022 17:16

It's weird. But I went to stand on the motorway bridge over Toddington junction of the M1 to watch Diana go past. It was an odd moment and strangely moving.

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bellac11 · 11/09/2022 17:17

vinepair.com/articles/civil-war-battles-wine/

portal.historicenvironment.scot/designation/BTL9

A couple of examples, the Falkirk one you have to scroll down to 'participants'

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ForestofD · 11/09/2022 17:19

Because, on the whole, we all want to be part of a community. That, previously, would have probably been our church or our small village that most people never left.

But, to some extent, those communities and have changed- but the need to be with other people and to feel something with other people has, for a lot of people, remained. To say we joined with other people, to witness something historic, to share a common experience.

Why do people film it- I guess so they can take it back and show others- to say 'I was part of this experience.' (I totally agree with the phones in faces being awful) But they can say they were part of something which every single person in this country has witnessed. It fulfils a need to be part, to bear witness, to join in.

And sometimes, that is difficult to articulate- especially when a camera is shoved in your face. So the people sneering about the people on camera who don't totally know what to say- I don't think I would know what to say- 'I wanted to be part of it' kind of makes you sound selfish but it isn't, it's natural.

We walked up in our village today to witness the proclamation. Our village met, listened to the formal words spoken and we sang, together. We chatted about how we (older people) would almost certainly never sing 'God Save the Queen' again and we came home.

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clarrylove · 11/09/2022 17:20

I imagine it is about the atmosphere and the togetherness. The coming together of people for a shared experience, something we all missed during Covid.

The same reasons people like to go and watch live sporting events or theatre, rather than just watching on the telly at home.

It's not my thing, but I couldn't criticise for people for wanting to go.

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