‘So what are your reactions?’ asked Steve Doughty of the Daily Mail.

Good sermon by the ABC, I immediately responded. A sermon about God and about Jesus and about her. She would have liked that. Marvellous performances by the supporting actors – David Hope (who did the Ecclesiastes piece and got all its TS Eliot resonances absolutely right and with commanding ease); and Cormac Murphy O’Connor who could not have done better at simplicity itself. Wonderful music (even for those of us who cannot like the Brahms). And of course, a healing of memories.

‘Memories of what?’ asked the aggressive Steve, still hoping, I suppose, to write an edgy piece.

Memories, I said, of the previous farrago; memories of the PM embarrassing the nation by reading 1 Cor 13 as though he had written it himself, memories of Elton John being terminally tacky, memories of a nation which had lost its head without ever finding its heart.

‘And what about this?’ the relentless hack went on. ‘Why was it better?’

Better, I replied, in the way in which any funeral of a real person would be better than the funeral of Rudolph Valentino.