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AIBU?

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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gnilliwdog · 11/09/2022 19:30

Diana's death was a tragedy. She was young and left two young sons. She wasn't racist or homophobic, she took the hand of a man with AIDS at a time when the stigma was massive. She would take any child on her knee and showed immense kindness. She was much loved by many who remember her in life, and not as her cruel caricature in 'the crown.' The public grief was not a disgrace, it was a natural reaction. The queen lived a good long life and was respected for impeccable behaviour, but her death was a natural course of events, and not a tragedy.

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Glitterblue · 11/09/2022 19:32

I suspect for the people who are not royalists, a lot of it'll be to do with wanting to post it on social media.

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lavenderlou · 11/09/2022 19:33

I wish people wouldn't presume to know what motivates others. I and plenty of other PP who went to the Mall have said we haven't put pics on social media. I don't put anything on social media. I went purely for a memorable experience for myself and my DC. If you don't want to go, don't go, but it's not necessary to pass your own (incorrect) judgments upon others in a sneering tone.

Even if some people do go so they can put pictures on social media, who cares, if that's what they want to do?

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steppon · 11/09/2022 19:36

suspect for the people who are not royalists, a lot of it'll be to do with wanting to post it on social media.

I wouldn't say I was a royalist but I didn't put any photos/posts on social media, I only use MNs

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SliceOfCakeCupOfTea · 11/09/2022 19:38

It's people with more time and money than sense.

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5128gap · 11/09/2022 19:42

I've no idea why people do it, but tbh it would be much more embarrassing if they didn't. Imagine if no one laid flowers, no one stood to watch the coffin pass, no one filed past her lying in state, and all the ceremony was played out in front of no one at all?
The media revs people up to join in, as the public show of mourning and an audience for the ceremony is important. Its especially important after all the fuss over Diana that the public display for the Queen is equal to that.

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Von19 · 11/09/2022 19:43

I saw two women on the telly who had gone to the Palace because they wanted to be part of history.
How does going there make them anymore part of history than me making a cake to celebrate meeting my husband on August 31st 1997.

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ClottedCreamAndStrawberries · 11/09/2022 19:44

It’s definitely for social media so they can prove that they were there, being sad 🙄 I also don’t get people who live their lives through social media for others. I’ll be paying my respects by watching the televised funeral but that’s it.

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ClottedCreamAndStrawberries · 11/09/2022 19:45

No doubt there will also be countless home videos of the hearse being driven past…weirdos. With heartfelt cringey posts.

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Pedallleur · 11/09/2022 19:49

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!

There was a battle in the US Civil War, might have been Bull Run that the spectators got caught up in. Ladies with their parasol, gentlemen in top hats gathering to see 2 sets of soldiers kill each other.

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DonegalGhirl · 11/09/2022 20:06

I live in Edinburgh and will NOT be going anywhere near Holyrood House or St Giles.

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AsanteSana · 11/09/2022 20:29

@Pedallleur, you are quite correct - first battle of Bull Run (also known as Manassas) in July 1861 was the first major pitched battle of the American Civil War. It was very near to Washington and hordes of civilian spectators turned out to watch it, some even bringing picnics. And battlefield visits were commonplace throughout that conflict, people gathering to see the aftermath of slaughter sites.

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Nesbo · 11/09/2022 20:30

I don’t understand all the people saying “they’re just there for social media “. Events like this drew huge crowds before social media, so are you saying that without social media there would suddenly be no crowds?

if you don’t like social media that’s fine, but don’t pretend that without it those people would disappear. History shows us otherwise.

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lavenderlou · 11/09/2022 20:49

Von19 · 11/09/2022 19:43

I saw two women on the telly who had gone to the Palace because they wanted to be part of history.
How does going there make them anymore part of history than me making a cake to celebrate meeting my husband on August 31st 1997.

Because the Queen dying is a more historically significant event than you meeting your husband?

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Divebar2021 · 11/09/2022 21:33

We look back now at Princess Dianas death and cringe at how the public acted

Who is this “we” that you’re speaking of? I don’t understand why you have to be quite so condescending when you’re speaking of other peoples choices - especially if they don’t affect you in any way. Your tone is pretty offensive. I haven’t actually been into central London at all but I can understand why someone would choose to do it. It’s a monumental occasion. It’s not only about the death of this figurehead but the ascension of the new king… something I’m guessing is new to the vast majority of us. If any of it was passing anywhere near where I live I’d certainly leave my house to line the route and pay my respects and I certainly wouldn’t say I was an ardent Royalist.

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abblie · 11/09/2022 21:46

Seen Americans on earlier who travelled each to their own

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derxa · 11/09/2022 21:49

Divebar2021 · 11/09/2022 21:33

We look back now at Princess Dianas death and cringe at how the public acted

Who is this “we” that you’re speaking of? I don’t understand why you have to be quite so condescending when you’re speaking of other peoples choices - especially if they don’t affect you in any way. Your tone is pretty offensive. I haven’t actually been into central London at all but I can understand why someone would choose to do it. It’s a monumental occasion. It’s not only about the death of this figurehead but the ascension of the new king… something I’m guessing is new to the vast majority of us. If any of it was passing anywhere near where I live I’d certainly leave my house to line the route and pay my respects and I certainly wouldn’t say I was an ardent Royalist.

Well said

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VladmirsPoutine · 11/09/2022 21:53

I'm actually very perplexed by the whole thing. I really struggle to get my head around it, but then again the royal institution represents something entirely different to me as I'm from the glorious commonwealth.

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Lindy2 · 11/09/2022 22:08

We went to Windsor yesterday. We live quite close so it's a place we quite regularly go to anyway.

If anyone had asked me why we were there I'd have found it difficult to come up with any other reason than we simply wanted to be there and we wanted to see the floral tributes.

It's natural for people to gather together at times of significant events. The flowers are laid to be seen. It's people just doing what comes quite naturally to a lot of human beings. We're social creatures who usually take comfort and security in being part of a collective group with collective actions.

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Mywatchis · 12/09/2022 10:03

Why do some people have to be so sneery? All this rubbish about it just being for social media, as loads of others have pointed out gatherings over death have happened for centuries and all over the globe. If you think it's just for SM then you obviously haven't got the depth of thought or consideration of the need for human togetherness to see past your own small mindedness.

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Libre55 · 12/09/2022 13:42

Well it gives people something to sneer at, and look down on other people. Each to their own. Some people have no flowers at funerals, some people choose to write in memorial announcements in the local paper for their Mum or Dad, some people like huge floral arrangements at a relatives funeral, some don’t.

Everyone processes death of a relative or a public figure differently. Nobody is right, or wrong, and there may be a thousand different reasons people act like they do. Tradition, FOMO, need for attention, insecurity.

I can’t understand why people stand in rail stations writing down engine numbers, but they do. I probably do things that someone else can’t understand . ‘Tis life and the diverse nature of humans.

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ShhDoNotTell · 12/09/2022 16:14

It’s revolting how sneery people are at others. It’s got nothing to do with social media, and for most people, including those who are unable to articulate the ‘why’, it’s got very little to do with ‘me me me’ and everything to do with ‘us.’

Events like these are so much bigger than we are. It’s the connectedness to something that stretches back into the past and will stretch forward into the future for far longer than we will be alive. The symbolism, the pageantry, the ritual, it’s all so very human. I actually feel sorry for people who don’t understand why others would be drawn to tradition like this. Go and read some Jung, for goodness sake.

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Sparklingbrook · 12/09/2022 16:22

I understand how people are drawn to tradition,and maybe want to go down to London to line the streets for the funeral but I don't understand why anyone would queue up for 30 hours to file past a coffin.

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IncessantNameChanger · 12/09/2022 16:33

Someone said in the bbc this morning the reason they went was to acknowledge her service and repay her something. I think that resonates. She worked all her adult life up the day before she died. Why not acknowledge that in some way? You think Bo Jo and his like would be so self sacrificing? She was one of kind. Like the monarchy or not. People like the Queen are a very rare breed.

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CuteAsDucks · 12/09/2022 17:40

Divebar2021 · 11/09/2022 21:33

We look back now at Princess Dianas death and cringe at how the public acted

Who is this “we” that you’re speaking of? I don’t understand why you have to be quite so condescending when you’re speaking of other peoples choices - especially if they don’t affect you in any way. Your tone is pretty offensive. I haven’t actually been into central London at all but I can understand why someone would choose to do it. It’s a monumental occasion. It’s not only about the death of this figurehead but the ascension of the new king… something I’m guessing is new to the vast majority of us. If any of it was passing anywhere near where I live I’d certainly leave my house to line the route and pay my respects and I certainly wouldn’t say I was an ardent Royalist.

@Divebar2021 So you think the hysteria at Princess Dianas funeral was normal? Right.

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