The 2022 Goodwood Revival almost didn't happen.
Queen Elizabeth II died on Sept. 8—just 10 days before the Revival was to take place. Had her funeral happened on Sunday, Sept. 18, organizers would have rightfully canceled everything, Mark "Feathers" Featherstone, the Revival's sponsorship director, told us. The team held emergency meetings leading up to the event's weekend to determine whether it was to transpire at all. But, seeing as the funeral was planned to take place on Monday, Sept. 19, and that the Queen's attitude was always to persevere in times of hardship or crisis, the Goodwood Revival carried on.
Undoubtedly, the second part of those meetings was deciding how best to honor the Queen. Despite being launched in 1998, the Goodwood Revival is an event that quite literally celebrates England during WWII times—times when she famously served as a military mechanic and driver while still a princess—so it would have to be special.
"The Goodwood team worked very closely with UK Government working groups to ensure the event could go ahead with the correct protocols," Hannah Corkish, a Goodwood spokesperson, told me via email.
On Friday, Charles Gordon-Lennox, the Duke of Richmond, led a tribute to the Queen.
Union flags were flown at half-mast throughout the weekend, Goodwood staff all wore black armbands as a sign of respect, and organizers showed a short film of the Queen at Goodwood over the years that was projected across the property's big screens during each day of the event.
"The Queen visited Goodwood many times over her reign," Corkish said. "Although she had an interest in classic cars, her main passion was horseracing and it’s the race course that she went to on numerous occasions, and therefore where most of the footage from the film came from. In the week of her passing, one of her horses ran here at Goodwood, which was quite moving for us all."
Unfortunately, I was unable to procure a copy of the film to share with you here because of copyright reasons. Here's a photo of what was played on the screens, though.
After the film, a cannon salute indicated a moment of silence. A second cannon salute indicated the end of the silence.
There was also a book of condolences on display that visitors could sign. "The book of condolence will be kept available for people to sign at Goodwood House until Monday, Sept. 26, and will then be placed in the Goodwood archives in the West Sussex Record Office in Chichester," Corkish explained.
It was certainly a very historic and unusual time to be in England and at this event, one that's mired in nostalgia and English pride. Being an American, I don't think I will fully ever grasp the cultural significance of the Queen. We just don't have anything like her in the United States, nor will we ever. Of course, there are plenty of people with anti-monarchy views in the UK, but walking around the Revival, I could tell that folks were legitimately saddened by her passing.
The 2022 Revival ran from Friday, Sept. 16, to Sunday, Sept. 18. "With the funeral falling on Monday it did mean we had to scale back our ‘break down’ of the event," Corkish said, "but everything has now resumed and we’re pleased that we were able to play our part in remembering Her Majesty over the Revival."
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