Many Britons angry over cancellations due to Queen Elizabeth’s funeral
Widespread cancellations and disruption to essential services due to the 10-day national mourning period for Queen Elizabeth’s death has sparked frustration and anger among many Britons.
It began with soccer, Britain's beloved national sport. Then, flights into London's Heathrow Airport were canceled, NBC News said in a report.
By the time of the late monarch’s funeral Monday, the U.K. will have come to a near-standstill, with most businesses shuttered and thousands of events canceled across the country.
But for some relying on Britain’s cherished National Health Service — already creaking with long delays — or other services like food banks, the cancelations seemed like too high a price to pay in a country grappling with a cost-of-living crisis.
“When I was called and told all appointments that day are cancelled, I got off the phone and cried,” Dan O’Brien, who is eight months pregnant, told NBC News via Twitter on Thursday.
Many people also took to social media to complain about canceled operations and medical appointments. One of them was Katie Brodie, who wrote on Twitter: “I’m a chemotherapy patient and had a Covid booster booked for 19th carefully timed round my treatment,” she wrote. “Now cancelled and can’t rebook for weeks. Just hope I stay safe!”
A spokesperson for NHS England told NBC News that on the day of the funeral staff will work to ensure that “urgent and emergency services," including urgent dental and doctor appointments, were available.
Many on social media also criticized the disruption to essential services due to the 10-day national mourning period and the upcoming funeral.
Also, a survey published Tuesday by British pollster YouGov showed that 49% of respondents believed that media coverage of the queen’s funeral was “too much.”
The media’s reporting on the queen’s death was prepared in advance and as a result “left little or no space for different perspectives or experiences to be included,” according to Deborah Madden, a principal lecturer at Britain’s University of Brighton who specializes in the politics of grief.
The context of the current cost of living crisis in the U.K. has been missing from the coverage and exposes “inequalities that are more deeply rooted and systemic,” she said, adding that the reporting had been inadequate when dealing with people “who have openly dissented and resisted grieving or mourning.”