Following the death of Queen Elizabeth II last week, every national TV network in America dispatched crack squads of producers to London to cover the aftermath. Staff shortages meant that The Spectator opted to send Cockburn over on an economy flight, although he bets that if it was anyone else, they’d be flying classy.
After Cockburn got over the screaming kids and bad liquor on his JetBlue plane, he decided to start at Buckingham Palace. This was, in hindsight, a huge mistake. In fact, Cockburn would go as far to say that the British royal family’s...

Following the death of Queen Elizabeth II last week, every national TV network in America dispatched crack squads of producers to London to cover the aftermath. Staff shortages meant that The Spectator opted to send Cockburn over on an economy flight, although he bets that if it was anyone else, they’d be flying classy.

After Cockburn got over the screaming kids and bad liquor on his JetBlue plane, he decided to start at Buckingham Palace. This was, in hindsight, a huge mistake. In fact, Cockburn would go as far to say that the British royal family’s HQ is host to a cabal of the worst humans on earth. Loud, crying Americans, British oiks taking smiling selfies, Instagram moms laying flowers down seven times to make sure that their dutiful camera man got the best angle of their ass. Meghan Markle.

The gates of Buckingham Palace (Cockburn/The Spectator)

Then you have the real wackos, who Cockburn found over at Lambeth Palace. This is where the “queue” (line) began to watch the Queen lying in state, which begins today at 7 a.m. GMT. Now, Cockburn knows that British people pride themselves on their queuing skills, but some nuts started lining up over seventy-two hours before opening. One man told Cockburn that he felt compelled to be one of the first people to see the coffin because the Queen “came to him in a dream three times.” Cockburn didn’t want to ask what kind of dream it was.

If the reaction in London is anything to go by, the patriotism of the British people is unparalleled. One night, when Cockburn was in a pub with some friends, he accepted an AirDrop from a stranger, apparently a drug dealer, that read “God Save The King top quality stuff coca 90% pure delivery around London.” Awwww. Another entrepreneur offered a message that read “RIP TO HER MAJESTY. Business as usual. C 50 K 40 M 50.” Talk about keeping calm and carrying on.

Next up Cockburn headed to Green Park to lay some flowers in respect for the Queen. He felt a little embarrassed showing up with his $2 rose after seeing everybody else’s bouquets. Good job that large crowds and the raucous sound of middle-aged women crying are the perfect cover for a little pilfering. He laid down his crappy rose, picked up the $25 wreath beside it, and followed the one way system back out, and in again. Cockburn also nabbed a few marmalade sandwiches while he was there. After all, the Queen probably didn’t even like Paddington that much.

london

(Cockburn/The Spectator)

london

(Cockburn/The Spectator)

Cockburn was shocked to see how much of London is closed. Every other shop has a sign in the window claiming they are shut “out of respect,” and even bus stops have signs on them saying they will resume service after the official mourning period is over. Centre Parks, a short-break holiday company in the UK has come under fire for saying that they would “close all UK villages on Monday 19 September at 10am as a mark of respect,” meaning that anyone holidaying there would be forced to leave Sunday night and travel back for Tuesday. Whoever does their PR is likely getting the boot after everyone rightly complained that it was ridiculous. One person made a good point, saying: “Good luck removing guests from the parks. You’ve trained them in archery, shooting, swimming, canoeing and swinging through the trees like apes. You’ve basically got 5 village-loads of ninjas to clear out.”

Cockburn is fond of the pomp and pageantry of the monarchy, but he must admit that the performance from the royalists in London this week has been a bit much even for him. Hopefully the midterms are a more restrained affair…