Right, everyone. I need to be serious for a moment. Because the greatest thing that ever happened is happening right now.
I don't particularly care either way about the Queen. But the queue? The Queue is a triumph of Britishness. It's incredible.
Just to be clear: I don't mean the purpose of the queue. I don't mean the outpouring of emotion or collective gried or the event at the end and around the queue or the people in the queue. I mean, literally, the queue. The queue itself. It's like something from Douglas Adams.
It is the motherlode of queues. It is art. It is poetry. It is the queue to end all queues. It opened earlier today and is already 2.2 miles long. They will close it if it gets to FIVE MILES. That's a queue that would take TWO HOURS TO WALK at a brisk pace.
It is a queue that goes right through the entirety of London. It has toilets and water points and websites just for The Queue.
You cannot leave The Queue. You cannot get into The Queue further down. You cannot hold places in The Queue. There are wristbands for The Queue.
Once you join The Queue you can expect to be there for days. But you cannot have a chair and a sleeping bag. There is no sleeping in The Queue, for The Queue moves constantly and steadily, day and night. You will be shuffling along at 0.1 miles per hour for days.
The BBC has live coverage of The Queue on BBC One, and a Red Button service showing the front bit of The Queue.
NO ONE IN THEIR RIGHT MIND WOULD JOIN THE QUEUE AND YET STILL THEY COME. "Oh, it'll only be until 6am on Thursday, we can take soup".
And the end of the queue is a box. You will walk past the box, slowly, but for no more than a minute. Then you will exit into the London drizzle and make your way home.
Tell me this isn't the greatest bit of British performance art that has ever happened? I'm giddy with joy. It's fantastic. We are a deeply, deeply mad people with an absolutely unshakeable need to join a queue. It's utterly glorious.
“The queue has visitors going to look at queue. My mum travelled to see the queue.”
“But surely it can't all be true? How on earth can people stay upright & moving for 30 hrs or even 15 hrs? Surely tons and tons of people will faint, be ill, have hypos, get too tired to continue etc? Are there any food stalls? I'm worried about them all!”
“We don't even know if she is really in the box.”
“I'm upset you talked about the Queue without sharing links to how we can watch the Queue”
“What we need to understand is that probably 400,000 will queue & file past the Queen’s coffin but, in 20 years time, 50 million people will claim they did.
“It happened at Woodstock, at the first Pistol’s gig & Jesus probably fed 500 people. It’s the need to become part of history”
“There you have a movie as British as it could be. You just need ten characters and how they got to the queue.”
“Of course the peak Britishness will come if the queue gets too long and the have to close it, because we will no doubt start a queue to join the queue”
“It's only a matter of time until I can be seen from space.”
“The International Space Station will be live streaming the queue from space.”
“Long live the Queue! This is what us Brits have been practicing for all these years.”
“An Englishman, even if he is alone, forms an orderly queue of one.”
“Queue-Anon: a 12-step program for those currently lining up to see the Queen who need help leaving the queue.”
“In the US we frequently call this "getting in line." I've never wanted to be in line so badly as I do right now after reading the thread above.”
I've got to go to bed, Twitter. You have been WONDERFUL. So many funny, clever, nice, kind, lovely people. I'm sorry I can't talk to you all, it's just impossible and shows no sign of slowing down.
God Save The Queue!