The passing of the Queen yesterday has prompted many kinds of reactions. Some cried. Others gloated. Some looked to the heavens and saw the queen. Fictional bears issued moving tributes. It took Wayne Lineker to push the tributes to the Queen to the limit.
Among other things, the death of Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Windsor offers a clear view inside the weird soul of Ireland's near-neighbours. And perhaps the weirdest tribute to the Queen took place tonight in Ibiza.
Nightlife impresario and brother to Gary, Wayne Lineker lives an interesting life running one of Ibiza's leading night clubs, Ocean Beach Club. It's a popular destination for holidaying footballers and A-listers, B-listers and other people listed in tabloid newspapers.
And while the Premier League deemed the Queen's death too solemn for this weekend's games to be contested, Lineker's club decided the party must go on tonight, but it must proceed by marking the monarch's passing.
On Instagram Live, Wayne Lineker streamed footage of bikini-clad women in bearskin caps solemnly marching into the dance arena.
Sorry, I need to immortalise Wayne Lineker's tribute to the Queen because I will never not want to see it. pic.twitter.com/r8KOeSNQtJ
— Childish Gabibbo (@ichlugebullets) September 9, 2022
That was just the start of it. A colleague of Wayne Lineker grabbed the microphone and issued the following words:
"We could not let today go by without speaking about yesterday's events in the UK... It doesn't matter if you're British, Irish, Scottish, Italian, Spanish, wherever you are in the world, I think you'll appreciate one of the greatest iconic women that's ever lived in this world left our planet yesterday. Let's hear it for Queen Elizabeth the second."
Wayne Lineker's friend also mentioned inflatable versions of a London bus and an inflatable Mary Poppins on display.
God Save The Queen was played, and sung. The royal guard saluted the audience. And the partying began again.
We will hear much about how the British specialise in pageantry over the coming weeks, but we need not wait until the funeral of the Queen to see the performative imagination of the British people on full display. This is the most memorable production the country has created since Danny Boyle's opening ceremony to the 2012 Olympics.