Witnessing Britain’s grief as an immigrant, I have surprised myself

A lot of people have money set aside for retirement or a deposit, or even for future holidays. I don’t. What I had, for many years, was half a grand set aside for when the Queen died.

I moved here in 2009; around 18 months later, Kate and William got married. It was unbearable. I’d always known I wasn’t a royalist – few French people are – but that wedding really tipped me over the edge. It felt unavoidable, suffocating, absurd.

A few months after it – finally, mercifully – ended, I told myself I had to start saving up. The Queen would die at some point and I just couldn’t be in the country for it. I needed to have a pot of money in my account that would allow me to leg it to the airport and not look back for at least a week.


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