A week after Princess Diana’s tragic death, she was honored with a public funeral. The event had 2.5 billion viewers, while another three million were on the streets of London following Diana’s coffin to her final resting. The brothers, William and Harry, attended the funeral alongside their father, grandfather, and uncle Earl Spencer. Diana’s coffin passed Buckingham Palace, where members of the royal family waited outside. And one of them was Queen Elizabeth II. While the coffin was carried past her, the queen made a very rare move. Queen Elizabeth II bowed her head.
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Her gesture is exceptional for a few reasons. While it is conventional for others to bow to her, she is not technically required to bow to others. Anyway, the queen made an unexpected gesture to her former daughter-in-law’s coffin that she rarely does for anyone else.
Moreover, after Diana’s death, there was quite a big drama within the royal family. Queen Elizabeth II had insisted that Diana’s ceremony should be private. However, Prince Charles didn’t agree with her. Also, then-British Prime Minister Tony Blair agreed that Diana should be laid out at St. James’s Palace with a public funeral held at Westminster Abbey.
Considering that Queen Elizabeth II was criticized for her silence and “business-as-usual” behavior in the wake of Diana’s death, her move at the casket definitely had sent a message of compassion, honor, and genuine sorrow.