Duggie’s Ramblings – November 2022

Duggie's Ramblings

In 1989, there was held in the cathedral of St Stephen’s in Vienna the funeral of Zita the former Empress of Austria and former Queen of Hungary. She was the widow of the last Emperor Charles (Karl) 1st of Austria also Charles (Karl) 1V, king of Hungary. She was 96 and had been a widow for 67 years. The setting for the service was Mozart’s Requiem Mass. It was attended by 6,000 people and lasted two hours.

The service finished, the hearse with the coffin of Empress Zita was drawn by six black horses and escorted by 600 Tyrolean militia to the nearby Capuchin burial church of the Hapsburgs, but the doors to this church were closed. The chamberlain to the late Empress knocked on the door-three times .The voice of a friar from inside called out “Who requests entry?” The reply came back (a vanished Europe); it began “Her majesty Zita, Empress of Austria, crowned Queen of Hungary, Queen of Bohemia…” and so it went on 34 further titles, including Grand Duchess of Transylvania! This was followed by very demanding orders. The friar replied “We still do not know her. Who requires entry?” Again: “Her majesty Zita…” Again the reply: “We do not know her, who requires entry?” This time the reply came back- “Our sister Zita, a poor mortal sinner.” The doors were thrown open!

Her massive tomb is there in the kaisergruft (crypt) of the Capuchin church in central Vienna.

This brought to mind our late Queen Elizabeth, also 96 when she died and Her Majesty’s titles; someone somewhere would know the exhaustive list of the Queen’s many titles. The only one, at the time of the broadcast from Edinburgh, was Queen of the Scots; not as many assumed, Queen of Scotland.

The burial service of Queen Elizabeth immediately following the funeral at Westminster Abbey took place at St George’s Chapel, Windsor. She was buried alongside her beloved husband Philip in the King George V! Chapel. The noticeable similarity to Empress Zita was the words spoken at the Queen’s burial; all titles were gone, she was buried as Elizabeth.

Food poverty is affecting many people and families in this country. An imaginary illustration of the predicament for many is of a dining table laid out for six people, so they take their seats but there is placed food only for four people; two people have a place, but no food. Recently, a statistic showed the food waste in England -70% is edible! Sell by date? Witnessing this recently, a wagon full of broccoli from Italy arrived at a distribution depot. Something had happened en route and the entire load was fit only for waste.

However, good news – want to save £4,000+ a year? Give up your car and walk or bike; use public transport – free buses for senior citizens (after 9 .30 am), one third off train fares.

Welcome to the reign of King Charles (Karl) III and his Queen Consort Camilla (isn’t that French or Spanish?)

Must mention the window display at The Well; the work of a professional window dresser such is the quality, it certainly is eye catching!