The death of HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic and the growing popularity of social media and online contact, has led to a scenario completely different from the one seen at the last royal funeral, King George VI's in 1952.
In addition to severe restrictions to crowds, coupled with distancing measures to be observed even by the Queen, expressions of condolence on Twitter seem to have become the new norm.
Britain's Royal Family has opened an online book for people to express their sympathies as an alternative.
“During the current public health situation, Books of Condolence will not be available for the public to sign. The Royal Family ask that members of the public consider making a donation to a charity instead of leaving floral tributes in memory of The Duke,” the Royal Family's account went on.
And in Buenos Aires, British Ambassador Mark Kent posted on his personal Twitter account and in Spanish the following message: “The embassy is observing the period of national mourning for the passing of His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh. I thank all the messages of condolence from him. We will restrict our activities, including on social media, to respect this grieving period. Thank you.”
La embajada está observando el período de duelo nacional por el fallecimiento de Su Alteza Real el Duque de Edimburgo. Agradezco a todos sus mensajes de condolencia. Restringiremos nuestras actividades, incluso en las redes sociales, para respetar este período de duelo. Gracias— Mark Kent (@KentArgentina) April 10, 2021
The vast majority of replies from Argentine followers – and there were quite a few – were in support of the diplomat who over the years has managed to become “just another local,” riding public transport buses and attending football matches and traditional asados before the coronavirus restrictions.
In Uruguay, ambassador Faye O'Connor also announced that the British embassy in Montevideo will be waving the flag at half-mast by retweeting Prime Minister Boris Johnson statement.
El mensaje del PM en la ocasión del fallecimiento de Su Alteza Real Príncipe Felipe, Duque de Edimburgo, hoy.— Faye O'Connor (@FayeOConnorFCDO) April 9, 2021
El entró en un periodo de luto. La bandera flamea a media asta en señal de duelo y habrá un libro virtual de condolencias.
Gracias por sus mensajes de condolencias. https://t.co/jR8ExOe67t pic.twitter.com/LtaknBC9iN
Some of the over 200 messages even asked Mr. Kent to convey their solidarity to Her Majesty The Queen. And yes, of course, there were the occasional anti-British postings, but not as many as could be expected.