January 27, 2010 marked a sad day on the McGill calendar – we witnessed the funeral of a great leader, King Henry VI. At 1:25 p.m., King Henry’s body was ushered up the steps of the Arts building by several mourners dressed in black. Three noblemen standing on the steps shouted “God save the King!” to a large crowd of onlookers, marking the beginning of the proceedings. People gathered around from all over campus to watch the dramatic scene unfold as a precursor to the performance of Henry VI: Rise of York that Players’ Theatre is staging in the following weeks.
The noblemen all spoke highly of their great king, and the triumphs of his life. When finished speaking, they proceeded to sing Britain’s national anthem, while the audience watched the procession of the king’s body from the Arts steps all the way to the SSMU building. Onlookers maintained relative silence as the royal corpse was escorted away. The entire drama lasted only 10 minutes, and when it was over, the sun retreated ominously as if cued, leaving the crowd with a heavy sense of loss. To see the events of the king’s life that lead up to this solemn occasion, go see Henry VI: Rise of York.