London celebrations

Life goes on in London after Queen’s death

After an initial moment of shock and pause following the news of Queen Elizabeth II’s death, many Londoners got on with their lives on Sunday, socializing with friends and family on a sunny day.

In Soho, restaurants were packed with residents and visitors, eating and drinking to loud pop music.

Kwame Asubonteng, 25, came from South West London to Chinatown with friends to celebrate a birthday. None of them identified with the hundreds of thousands of people who flocked to the gates of Buckingham Palace to pay their respects to the late monarch at the age of 96.

“You approach people and they are very upset and affected by it,” Asubontng acknowledged.

“But me personally, I don’t feel very affected by it,” he explained. “I feel affected that someone died, and it’s sad, but the queen really had no effect on my life, and neither did she in death.”

He, like many, was back to work as usual the day after his death and will be working again on Monday.

For Davide Abbondanza, an Italian tattoo artist who has lived in the UK for five years and was working this Sunday, the soaring cost of living in the UK means there is no time to think much about the royal family.

“London is a bustling city… between work and (the bills) to pay, and everything, it’s a bit tricky,” he said.

At the Oval arena, thousands of cricket fans gathered to watch England take on South Africa in a test match. The match was first abandoned on Thursday, the day the queen died, before resuming on Saturday.

“Why should everything stop constantly for a long time? asked Cathy Helweg, 66, who was watching the game. A fan of the Royal Family, she said she thought the Queen would have liked to see the British carry on as normal.

“It’s right to stop and it’s right to have a period of mourning. And it’s right to celebrate the new king and support him,” Helweg said.

Her Majesty’s funeral is scheduled for the 19th – still over a week away.

“I think everyone needs to live their life,” said fellow cricket fan Harry Clark. “But do it respectfully.”

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