THE A90 must be one of the longest and bleakest roads on the planet, and seems to go on forever without very much happening along the way.

Though a patchwork landscape of lush, fertile fields, it is a place that could only ever inspire someone like Lewis Grassick-Gibbon.

It’s longer than the Yellow Brick Road but without the added attractions of Tin Man, flying monkeys and munchkins along the way.

But the road that winds between Edinburgh and Aberdeen got its shot at global stardom last weekend, when the final journey of the Queen’s cortege journeyed from Balmoral to the Palace of Holyroodhouse.

There, in glorious technicolour and beamed around the world, were famous landmarks such as the internationally acclaimed bypasses of Stonehaven, Brechin and Forfar.

Even from the air they looked dull, and there was no doubt a familiar sigh in the cars when the signpost at Forfar signalled there was still about another 70 miles to go, including Dundee’s own semi-bypass along the Kingsway.

Princess Anne also discovered that it is indeed virtually impossible to travel from Aberdeen to the Central Belt without at least one comfort break en route.

Of course the cortege party did indeed stop for a comfort break - at Brechin Castle for 40 minutes to let everyone get refreshed. But I couldn’t have been alone in willing the cortege to suddenly pull into the Stracathro services or the Tesco on the Kingsway for an unscheduled, emergency stop.

But joking aside, the route of the party looked splendid from the air as it wound its way through charming Royal Deeside, Aberdeen and on to Edinburgh.

It was fantastic free publicity for the area, which is often overlooked by tourists, drawn instead to the majestic Glen Coe and the west coast.

Edinburgh also put on its prettiest clobber and executives at VisitScotland could be excused for purring, knowing there could well be a tourist boom in the coming months.

The action has now moved south for the funeral and the travel plans for world leaders is causing a bit of a stooshie.

Flunkies have told those travelling to London there will be shuttle buses running from Heathrow into central London in a futile bid to reduce congestion.

This is a great idea until the president of a rogue state gets on the wrong bus and it all kicks off on the Hammersmith flyover.

The Australian PM has also got into the spirit by organising a special party plane – like the minibuses laid on at some weddings over here – to get the heads of smaller nations to London.

Anthony Albanese has offered to transport some Commonwealth leaders in the Pacific to ensure they can attend.

There have been discussions with countries such as Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.

It conjures up images of the leaders being told to meet the plane in the local pub car park and ordered to bring a carry-out and some snacks for the journey.

Things, of course, could get completely out of hand if the Tongan PM hogs the Pringles on the flight.

The party will then emerge in London like all good minibus wedding parties, steaming and singing songs while covered in cheesy Wotsits.

To be fair, it’s quite a guestlist that has to be sorted and the Foreign Office has sent out around 500 invitations to heads of states across the globe.

They have been sent out to every country with which the UK has diplomatic relations – except of course to Russia, Belarus and Myanmar.

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi has not been invited either but Iran has been asked to send its ambassador.

Problem is, Iran currently does not have an ambassador and no formal condolence has been sent to the UK Government by the Iranians anyway, so quite why they were invited is unclear.

Chinese President Xi Jinping has also been given the chance to attend, but is making his first post-Covid trip outside China to a conference in Uzbekistan, where he is meeting Vladimir Putin.

His presence would certainly cause a stir, particularly with those covered in Wotsits on the Australian party plane who now seek a traditional post-funeral fracas.