London Bridge is falling down
It has been a while since I last travelled to the UK but the memories of my last trip are still fresh. For some reason, the visit to London Bridge is vivid on my mind, and I remember us singing London Bridge is falling down, falling down, falling down, London Bridge is falling down my fair lady!
During that time, we sang this song so repeatedly that for a moment I thought the Bridge would actually fall down! When I heard the news of the passing of Queen Elizabeth II, I also heard that the term “London Bridge is down” is a coded phrase used to inform the Prime Minister about the death of the Queen. How accurate this information is, I am not sure, but if correct, London Bridge indeed fell down.
I remember when CHOGM took place in Uganda, some of my female friends who were going to meet the Queen were practising curtsy. One of them asked if I wanted to come along, but I replied that we decided to leave town, as we had no intention to deal with road closures and security measures for the duration of the Commonwealth meeting. I was not also sure if I found it in myself to perform the curtsy or bow to another human being. That said, I respect the choice of those who do so, and it seems that this act is not obligatory, with some people settling for the normal handshake.
As soon as the news of the Queen’s passing was announced, social media became animated and vibrant with all sorts of comments, many positive about the Queen’s dedication to the service of her people, and some comments were reminding people of colonialism and imperialism, history indeed will not forget events written in its pages; it takes new events to return the old ones.
While watching all the ceremonies that included the proclamation of the new King of England, preparations for the Queen’s state funeral and many other side events, the precision and perfection of all these complex actions is mindboggling, taking into consideration that none of these took place during the past 70 years of the Queen’s reign. It is indeed overwhelming.
At the end of it, a story comes to mind, about a child who was watching a puppet master perform an act with his puppets, about a king on a horse with his soldiers in a beautiful palace. When the show was over, the puppet master folded the stage and tucked away the puppets. The child, who later on became a wise man, compared this with realities of our lives, and how it will all fade away when the show is over, when time is up.