How TV coverage of Queen Elizabeth’s funeral changed my opinion of her

I wasn’t expecting that to happen. But I was very moved on Monday by the TV picture of Queen Elizabeth’s coffin She was lowered into her vault at St George’s Chapel in Windsor with the Queen Bagpipe plays her for comfort.

The choreography in which he plays as he walks alone down the corridor of a dark castle and then disappears seems ancient, timeless, and profound. He directly tapped into what psychologist Carl Jung described as the collective unconscious. I felt like I was part of something as old as humanity itself as I watched it.

This happens a lot in front of a screen, especially to someone who has spent more than 40 years in front of screens decoding and writing about the images that are there. But looking back through the 11 days I spent tracking media coverage of the Queen’s death, I realized that television was educated and made me more sympathetic to the Queen.

I still hate monarchies and despise colonialism, of which England was one of the most brutal. But I have come to admire Queen Elizabeth and perhaps understand a little why hundreds of thousands of people are standing on ropes and by roadsides hoping to catch a glimpse of her, or to say one last goodbye to her.

The Queen and TV they grew up together. In England, Elizabeth II’s televised coronation in 1953 stood as the standard as the medium began to overtake radio as the dominant media in the United Kingdom. For American viewers, the funeral of President John F. Kennedy after his 1963 assassination represented a similar media moment: when television became the primary narrator of American life and an instrument of collective experiences for millions.

Now, I wonder if her funeral will be one of the media events that the historian uses to celebrate the end of the era of television. Watching the events on Monday, it’s hard to believe we’ll see such a big and powerful global TV event again.

Will any of these roadside people have a ruler who has served for 70 years as a symbol of fortitude at a time when the nation has undergone massive changes? Will the new media landscape of digital channels catering to isolated individual consumption bring audiences together in the way that television did during the shared moments of national celebration and tragedy in the post-World War II era?

As technology and politics further fragment the masses, such joint patriotic rites and rites of passage seem less likely. Countries may launch it and new media platforms may cover it, but will we leave our silos long enough to try it out and share it with members of the tribes we fought over, say, Twitter? In England, changing attitudes toward the monarchy would make it less likely that King Charles III or any of his successors would communicate as deeply with their fellow citizens as Queen Elizabeth did.

I was glad that most of the broadcasters and commentators on Monday were wise enough not to make any remarks during moments like the one she showed up. bagpipe queen. But I was also grateful that several of them later explained that the bagpipes were playing under her window at Balmoral for 15 minutes a day when she was a resident. The final moments of his Monday game made him all the more poignant.

Cable channels MSNBC and CNN started at 5 a.m. ET. By 6 a.m. CBS, ABC, NBC, PBS, and Fox News were all giving coverage. The live broadcast provided by the BBC was one of the best places to watch the funeral. The comment was understated and informed. The producers provided footage from several distinct points of the procession routes that I have not seen anywhere else. But watching it on the iPhone didn’t do justice to the gorgeous, panoramic images that are presented on TV screens.

In the end, for all the great coats of arms, festival of marching bands, and artillery fire during the first six hours of the funeral events, the quietest moments were those that seemed most memorable and resonant. The sounds of horse hooves and military boots hitting the sidewalk at the perfect time to march to the beat of the drums certainly reminded some baby-boom Americans of Kennedy’s funeral. If these sounds don’t create a collective memory from 1963, the sight of one attendee carrying the Queen’s favorite horse as if carrying Elizabeth’s remains on his way to Windsor Castle is likely. It made me think of the horse that wouldn’t ride in Kennedy’s funeral procession.

Of all the broadcasters and analysts, CNN anchor Anderson Cooper seemed to be the most connected to the rhythms of the day’s events. More than once, he silenced any conversation between his colleagues by saying, “Let’s just listen to the sights and sounds.”

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