(Note offensive content in paragraph 22, strong language in penultimate paragraph)
By Guy Faulconbridge and Natalie Thomas
LONDON (Reuters) – In London’s East End, there was both adoration for the monarchy and sharp criticism of some members of Britain’s royal family on the eve of the funeral of Prince Philip, who died a week ago after seven decades of service to his wife Queen Elizabeth.
The queen, heir-to-the-throne Prince Charles and other senior royals will pay their last respects to Philip on Saturday at a ceremonial funeral at Windsor Castle that will be broadcast live by television stations across the world.
Millions will watch the funeral. But in the East End there was a generational divide between elderly residents who generally expressed devotion to the royals and younger locals who said they felt little connection to most of the family.
“My TV’s always off – I watch YouTube and just internet and social media stuff,” said Johnathan Roach, a 33-year-old window cleaner in Whitechapel, east London.
“My generation and younger – we weren’t raised with … values of caring about the royal family. We weren’t born in a time when it was like ‘fight for queen and country’. We were just born, we live, we party. We don’t really have that kind of connection.”
Roach said he felt closest to Princess Diana, who died in a car crash in 1997, and to her second son Prince Harry, husband of Meghan. The couple’s interview last month with Oprah Winfrey plunged the royal family into crisis.