An Alternative View


Julie Wassmer

For over a week I’ve been in excruciating pain with a trapped nerve in my neck and shoulder – something I suffer from, from time to time. The chiropractor usually sorts it after a few visits but I couldn’t get an appointment until after the royal funeral so I’ve been unable to do much apart from writhe around.  

Meanwhile, a hospital procedure my husband needed was cancelled, due to the same royal funeral, though I suppose we should feel grateful that he finally had it done at a local health centre.

Compared to the many who have had their own treatments deferred, I really should feel grateful but I don’t. Instead, I feel anger on behalf of those who are still waiting and mystified that anyone should be willing to accept this situation—let alone the unrelenting claptrap that’s been shoved down our nation’s collective throat for over a week by our establishment-run media. I have watched, appalled, as television presenters actively encouraged people—many of whom appeared to be quite vulnerable—to finish work and then queue for up to 20 hours—often with very young children—so they could be filmed or interviewed, bowing and curtseying, in front of a lead-lined coffin with a flag draped over it.

I could possibly have ignored all this indoctrination but for the fact that there’s has been little else on TV since the Queen died—and I’m hardly up to much while on painkillers. I may need an extra dose to properly absorb the news that the Queen’s funeral, including the necessary changes to stamps and passports, is estimated at a cost of £6bn to the taxpayer.

You may have gathered I am not a royalist, but neither is anyone else I know well. A good friend with a company wrote the following a week ago on his social media page:-

Blimey, businesses are even posting condolences, now… OK, wouldn’t want to be left out so here’s mine:  “We wish to show respect to our beloved monarch who passed peacefully yesterday surrounded by a loving family of freeloaders, de facto arms dealers, paedophile companions and assorted thickos who would hardly be able to cut it in the real world. She will be greatly missed. 😞 “.  

That pretty much summed up my own sentiments at the time and little has changed since, apart from my growing conviction that if only people would get up off their knees and find sufficient self-respect to stop bowing and scraping before those who help to keep them in poverty and servitude, things might just change for the better—for all of us. 

Hereditary monarchy is an outdated system based and perpetuated on inequality and unearned privilege. As such, for me—and many others—it’s far more than just a pain in the neck.

My personal response to the royal funeral follows below. It’s not as “alternative” as you might think.


A new queue formed today.
It fails to file obediently
Before the remains of a dead queen,
But carves its own way
Beyond what has been.

Concealed by the false mystique of monarchy,
A shroud of fading power cannot hide
The gleaming guilt of stolen gems
Mounted in a monarch's crown.

A casket hauled through history in a deathly cavalcade.
Tamed horses pacing amongst bear skin and white swan's feather;
Uniforms of anonymity.
The precious breath of young soldiers
Lost while piping the past.

We march to a different drum,
One that keeps time with hearts that cannot grieve
For a life well-lived,
Not in our service,
But served by us.

Why cry "Long Live the King"
For a king who cannot live long;
An old man, burdened by new duty,
Aggrieved by his own life
Leaking away like ink from
The pen in his bloated hand,
Commanding a crowded desk to be cleared
So he might yet write his name on a page of history?
Too late.

The body buried will not rise again.
A new queue snakes its way
into the future,
Allowing us to become
What we have always known ourselves to be;
Unrecognised by those who would reign over us.
No longer subjects.
But citizens.


Julie Wassmer is a Whitstable-based author, TV writer and environmental campaigner.


Whitstable Views: How You Can Help

  • Make sure you share and like our articles on Facebook and Twitter, and whatever other social-media platforms you use.
  • Follow the site to get regular updates about new articles when they appear. Press the “Follow” icon in the bottom right hand corner of your screen and that will take you to the option to sign up. (It disappears as you move the text down, then reappears as you move it back up again!)
  • Leave comments on the site rather than on Facebook. Let’s get a debate going. All of our contributors are willing to engage with you if you leave a comment.
  • To all writers out there, we would LOVE you to make a contribution. Read our submissions page for details on how to go about that: https://whitstableviews.com/submissions/
  • Finally you can donate. As little as £1 would help. Details on the donations page here: https://whitstableviews.com/donate/

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s