The A1 at 04:00, a dark highway; lorries on night delivery mark the horizon. Newcraighall 15 minutes by train from Edinburgh Waverley. The first train at 06:35 from the Park and Ride Station, had one other couple from Amble.
Moving to the Royal Mile by 07:00, we passed the Kirk, barriered, camera platforms marked out by police in their ‘high-viz’. Walking to George Square we were guided and issued with the wristband promised, as a steady stream of people started to focus their steps quietly on the return journey through barriered-channel, to the steps of the Church.
The two-hour wait, suggested by the news, evaporated to a five-minute check through security; “Keys and phones in the tray please!”, a wave of the wand over our cruciform selves and we passed beyond.
The actual queue started at the steps of the narrow door, people split into two rows to flank the nave and the vision of solemn vigil. There was time to stop and take in the scene. Watchful eyes regarded each mourner, respectfully.
Then out into the sunshine, sandstone bright. Breakfast was at 08:00, the return journey home by noon. The people were there, children with mum and dad before school, workers, holidaymakers, some dressed in black, most not; brought together by a common respect evident through the silence witnessed.
I will remember Her Majesty.