On Thursday afternoon around 6:30pm, it was announced that Elizabeth Windsor had died.

I didn’t get the news at the time; in retrospect I should have been paying attention as a man stepped across my path and asked me twice “have you heard?” I ignored him, swerved out of the way, and quickly cycled off, as you would when a strange man starts talking to you. A while later I met a friend who told me what had happened.

On Friday, I went to work as normal. The City Council opened a book of condolences in the Town Hall and set up some temporary fencing to contain the crowds.

town hall book

I went past at lunchtime and again at the end of the day but didn’t see anyone queueing up to sign the book.

There was also a book of condolences in Morrisons.

morrisons

Convenient for anyone wanting to record a quick message of condolment on the way to picking up some halloumi for dinner.

There is a dedicated spot in Green Dragon Square for people to leave flowers.

flowers

Today there was a proclamation of Charles Windsor as the new king - a short ceremony attended mostly by local politicians and officials. Without counting, I’d guess a crowd of around 100-150 people, I’ve seen much larger gatherings outside the Town Hall before.

pronouncement

Leicester is a city of 329,000 people and this is the death of the head of state who held the position for 70 years. This has been the only news item on every bulletin for the past two days. The police have been arresting people who express anti-monarchist views. All electronic signage has been turned over to static pictures of the former queen. I would’ve expected a bigger public response?

Michael Walker referred to the same muted reaction on Novara.

In a way I feel like the BBC, politicians, what they want to see is a moment of collective mass grief… I haven’t actually seen it yet. We’re constantly seeing footage outside Buckingham Palace and there are people there, but it’s not exactly rammed.

In Leicester the mood seems to be general indifference, I’m not sure how it is in the rest of the country.