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Roisin Gorman: ‘I liked the Queen and I’m sad she’s died’

‘I have no time for the anti-royalists who waded in with abuse before the family had even gathered around her bedside’

Queen Elizabeth

Sunday World

I liked the Queen and I’m sad she’s died.

In Northern Ireland terms that’s either far too much emotion or not nearly enough.

From a non-unionist background, it’s possibly heretical to express any degree of affection for the Queen but you’ve got to admire someone who did 70 years in the service of smiling, waving and small talk without ever complaining.

The choice of palaces probably took the edge of the endless duty, but the price was having to hang out with everyone from Putin to Trump. It says it all about The Donald that the murderous dictator behaved with more decorum.

She displayed an enormous sense of humour with the 007 parachute sketch with Daniel Craig for the 2012 Olympics opening. When you have the confidence of 1,000 years of monarchy there’s room for a laugh. And her Paddington Bear sandwich in the handbag sketch would have got tears from a stone.

In her later years there were the troublesome in-laws when it turned out Meghan is more royal than all of them put together, but if little Archie and Lilibet now get their regal titles she might back off a bit.

When the news finally broke about the Queen’s death, I felt huge sadness for her family, who will take some comfort from her long and healthy life.

I also had sympathy for the newsreaders who had to fill hours of airtime with no new information, until Nicholas Witchell came along and did his quivering tribute as chief mourner.

I have no time for the anti-royalists who waded in with abuse before the family had even gathered around her bedside. Abolishing the monarchy is a perfectly reasonable political aim. Using the death of a much-loved figurehead to kick a grieving family and the recently deceased is just trolling.

She will now lie in state until the funeral which must be the closest thing in England to an Irish wake, just entirely sober and without the sandwiches.

While the most devoted of her subjects will have the chance to express their sadness, we can only hope their sorrow is followed by quiet dignity. Diana’s death became a grieving competition. Let’s not do that again.

The royal family will be setting aside their sadness, and Andrew, to move around the titles like a human chessboard, and celebrate King Charles III, who will hope to reclaim the name from floppy-eared spaniels.

He’s already vowed to slim down the monarchy – Andrew again – and has his mother’s royal blessing to have Camilla as his Queen Consort, with a fag in one hand and a large red wine in the other.

If anyone is going to do a parachute jump or get her round in with Paddington it will be Camilla, but she’ll know the Queen is a hard act to follow.

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