The Bishop of Bristol has remembered a “generous”, “welcoming” and “hilarious” Queen after the monarch was laid to rest. The State Funeral for Queen Elizabeth II was broadcast live from Bristol Cathedral on Monday (September 19) to allow people to mourn the late monarch in a communal space.
The Rt Revd Vivienne Faull said she felt moved by the service at Westminster Abbey on Monday morning. Speaking to BristolLive, she said: “I feel sad but also grateful for the reign of the Queen, those 70 amazing years. Also for all those who have worked together to make this day a wonderful reflection of her life.”
Revd Faull – the 56th Bishop of Bristol – said those who hold high ecclesiastical positions were afforded “enormous privileges” meaning she was fortunate to meet Her Majesty several times, including one of the last official occasions when Bishops were invited to preach at Sandringham Estate just before the pandemic. She recalled a visit to Windsor Castle where she was asked to dinner and to stay overnight.
She said: “She was so generous and welcoming and also hilarious. In the middle of a really posh dinner, the corgis came in and she fed them from a gold platter. It was a wonderful little moment, and then she carried on her conversation.”
Revd Faull continued: “I was sitting next to the Duke and he also was great fun to be with. He had a very, very good evening. For whatever reason, I felt part of their lives and that was very precious.”
The Very Reverend Dr David Hoyle MBE, former Bristol Cathedral Dean, led a segment of the funeral service. Revd Faull added she felt immensely proud to have that local connection to the Westminster service.
“One of the more junior clergy Bob Latham – also one of the clergy [in London] – was a verger here. I think there are two other vergers who trained here. We are very good for training people for high office in Westminster.”
There were approximately 600 free tickets available for the Bristol Cathedral screening of the service. The congregation stood to observe the two-minute silence out of respect for the former monarch at 11.55am and people joined in when God Save The King was sung in Westminster Abbey.
Among them was Janet Houselander, from Bristol, who said the Queen “gave so much” to her country. She wanted to pay her respects at the city’s cathedral as the Queen was a religious person.
Ms Houselander said: “She did her best and I just think we should honour her, how she’s protected us. It’s extraordinary what she did. I feel at the beginning she had very few other females to support her and how strong to be who she was at such a young age.”
Steven Priday, from Chew Valley, came to the service with some of his veteran friends. “It’s a chance to pay my respects and to say goodbye. I met her on a couple of occasions.
“In the Armed Forces, she was my Colonel-In-Chief of the Royal Military Police and I had the pleasure of meeting her a couple of times in that capacity.”
Jayne Nash retired Diagnostic Radiographer said she was feeling very reflective. “It’s going to be a time of change for us as we’ve known no other monarch. It’s going to be an interesting occasion, I believe.”
She continued: “I met her when she opened the Queen’s building at the [BRI] hospital, which I worked. I presented the flowers. It was a very long time ago in the 1970s.”