And a word (or 400) on those titans we’re seeing lying in state around the world from one who lies in a state around the world.
But both are getting the full treatment.
With the footballing great laid out in his open coffin in Santos in Brazil.
And the holy man in open view in the Vatican State.
All of which draws the millions, probably more in truth in Pele’s case.
While the Vatican and Rome is always a throng of humankind.
And well, a Pope, even if he is an Emeritus, is still a Pope.
The Queen’s been
Of course it is a big outlay to pay homage to those whose deeds and words in life earn them such homage in death.
But possibly one worth making if the spectacle is limited time only.
And plans are in place for their burial or cremation.
All of which a lot of Brits and royal lovers around the world were prepared to pay big.
And queue long for the privilege of seeing the prostate Queen last year.
Now, history watchers too would know that it is the last time any of us would be able to see her in person.
There are those dearly departed though who we are able to see any time of the year.
If we just happen to be passing by who are lying in state.
In from the cold
Lenin, Moscow: Imagine being able to see Lenin in his goatee beardie pomp.
Well, millions have long after he departed the commune on account of him being embalmed.
The mausoleum is open to visitors every day in Red Square except Monday, Friday and Sunday, from 10am to 1pm, and admission is free.
Toot and come in
Tutankamhun, Egypt: OK, the boy pharaoh looks as if he has seen better days.
But then he did die in 1323BC and his mummy was only rediscovered in 1922.
You can see him in his glass box in the Valley of the Kings on the west bank of the Nile River, near Luxor.
Philosophy of life
Jeremy Bentham, London: One way of preserving your legacy if you’re a mere philosopher and not one of those famous ones like Socrates.
Bentham, who formulated the theory of utilitarianism, basically the happiness of everyone, can be found in the University College London whom he championed.
While the skeletal remains and wax head of Bentham remain in the Student Centre.
His actual head remains out of public view elsewhere at UCL.
The head was once stolen in a prank by students from the rival King’s College, and has ever since been kept under lock and key.
Cat and mouse game
Dublin’s Tom and Jerry: And a curio of that most curious and fun city, my old stomping ground, Dublin, is the crypt of Christ Church Cathedral.
And best described by James Joyce in Finnegans Wake.
When he described the cat and the mouse who were mummified in the church organ.
‘As stuck as that cat to that mouse in that tube of that Christchurch organ.’.
A delightful time tunnel and a great place to watch classical concerts and corporate and travel events.
It’s €6.00 for the rest of you adults and €4.00 for kiddies.
Cats and mice go free.
Mao Zedong, Beijing: There were few, if any, who would go against the Chinese leader’s wishes when he ruled the Communist country with a rod of iron.
But when he was dead they mummified him against his wishes when he wanted to be cremated.
Chilling, well he is well cold by now, Mao lies draped in a crystal coffin.
In a red flag at the southern end of Beijing’s Tiananmen Square.
Me, I wouldn’t be so vain as to be lying in state around the world…
Just a statue will do, in my alma mater Aberdeen and instead of yon Millennium Spire on O’Connell Street in Dublin.
And anywhere else you want to remember your Bandanaman… come my time.