London returns to work and finance amid ceaseless ceremony and pomp

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The city of London and its people of interest resumed ‘normal life’ on Monday in an atmosphere of contrasts, the proximity of ceremonial sites, grand and glorious.

“Today is a normal Monday. In my work, Mondays and Fridays are lazy days,” says Daniel, 31, a regular shoe shiner at the Royal Exchange, the old stock exchange where Carlos III accepted the crown on Saturday (after doing so at St. James’s Palace). There, in a lobby divided into large luxury brand stores, his chair and his small kingdom await John Lobb’s black lace-up shoes.

At the gates of Parliament, a man slaps an anti-monarchy placard carried by an activist.

The first Monday in 70 years without Isabella II, the city yesterday was a rollercoaster. The attachment to 21st century finance and endless tradition is not so obvious. “It was a very normal Monday, although the atmosphere was very calm. And there were no jokes about football” (a highly controversial aside, by the way), describe Paul and Daniel, two financial workers – as they prefer to introduce themselves – at Tenth and Eleventh streets. Portford Butchers, a butcher in the heart of the city. A queue has formed in front of the shop — not a single woman —: her gourmet-looking meat sandwiches are triumphant.

An hour and a half earlier, at the nearby Westminster Parliament and Big Ben, which has not rung since 2017 except for New Year’s and Veterans Day for renovations, Carlos III and his wife arrived in a Rolls Black Royce to receive condolences. The Lords and Commons, while dozens of spectators stood without clapping – their hands, their mobiles – most of them tourists or members of parliament dressed in black. A woman held up a banner reading: “Abolish the monarchy. He is not my king.” As the crowd dispersed, a man turned to him:

– No time and no place!

The man lost his temper and slapped the banner and scolded another voyeur: “Freedom to demonstrate is what made this country great.” A tense moment. The couple present, Jill and Richard, their neighbors in their seventies, were outraged: “Anyone can point, but this woman must have moved on. Normal? People have to go to work, but the environment is forgiving. Before the funeral, I don’t think we can say that London is back to work. “

“Employees will be able to take a shift at Westminster on Thursday or Friday to pay their respects in the coffin,” says a senior official, sipping coffee at a Starbucks across the street from the Bloomberg Building. A few meters later, a few minutes later, the Lord Mayor of London and his wife, dressed in mourning, along with a grave official, got into their car parked in front of the mansion, right in the center of the city. Some American tourists are watching the scene and recording it on their mobiles with obvious admiration and joy, because it must all feel like history to them. and from historical.

Nearby, the Bank of England, founded in 1694, began the process of making notes and coins with the image of Charles III, but – as tradition dictates – there is no rush, only a sacred process. We have to wait till 2023.

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