Wee Scoops

Measure for Measure

Jubilee Reflections

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A weekend of cultural phenomena is over. Time for a cup of tea.

Thousands of Union Jacks being fluttered in front of the Palace by hundreds of thousands of people. It made me think about what we are told about some other countries – that they HAVE to act as if they are fans of the authorities or they are in fear of their lives or their freedom. It is great to know that Republicans were free and welcome to stand with their placards stating their objections to the monarchy, knowing they had every right and freedom to do so. What a great country/kingdom!

I am sure that group mentality had a lot to do with the popularity of the event – but I do find it amazing that the Queen managed to draw the crowds.

There were some horrible days in the past, with most of her children’s marriages going horribly wrong, then all the bad feeling and accusations surrounding the death of Diana.

But Elizabeth, Queen of Scots/II pulled it back. What a great turn out – and not a sniff of coercion. A public ballot for tickets – and then hundreds of thousands turning out just for a glimpse.

I think it is to do with the reality of it. When I watch Royal processions and formal events I always draw a parallel with Disney and the palaces and processions that are put on for the crowds -with Mickey at the centre. But none of it is real.

The royal show is real. It is flesh and blood and history. The whole river taken over for the flotilla. The city standing still for the processions and the concert. Flags and people lining the streets looking out for the Queenie wave. People sleeping out so they have the best spot to see things.

For some people it is important to be there, to live the history being made.

Such a contrast to the London of almost a year ago with rioters taking hold of the streets and a spirit of lawlessness – suddenly turned into this respect for duty and service that the Queen embodies for many.

So, what do I think of it all?

The BBC do a good job in terms of capturing the key images, but their commentary varies in quality. The event organisers need a raise. Comedians are not funny.

The Scottish reaction has been interesting. I think it is kind of odd that Alex Salmond is pro-queen – but with her Balmoral links, the Royal Mile and all that – maybe the royal thing is an asset for a hypothetical Independent Scotland. It’s the union of parliaments, not the union of crowns under scrutiny these days. Not sure how the monarchy thing would pan out if we were independent.

However, by being constant, the Queen has managed to leave the past in the past and get on with the present. Who’d have thought that Camilla could take a place on the balcony?

I hope the Queen gets to go and have some relaxed banter with the Duke of Edinburgh, and a cup of tea.

I’ll never see another Diamond Jubilee (unless the Queen dies very soon, Charles abdicates immediately, William reigns till 2072 and I live to be 100. Well, 99 and a half).


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7 thoughts on “Jubilee Reflections

  1. You are right that there are certain people who feel the need to be there to mark the day in history personally. There are certain things that I can see need it but I think that with the downpour I would have been happy marking the day in the warmth of my house with a cup of Earl Grey to raise my teacup to the Queen. I have fond memories of seeing the Queen in her car after almost being run over by her driver in Edinburgh. She had the best wave. I always mean to tell you that Blandford originally was called New Glasgow and that the original settlers of Blandford all originated from Scotland at some point.

  2. Rickster on said:

    One of the things I discovered this weekend is that I’m not really either pro- or anti-monarchy. Monarchy just seems to be a thing that happens to other people.

    My other recurring thought this weekend is that the concept of a hereditary monarchy is getting increasingly silly as life expectancies extend beyond 80 years. If things continue the way they are at present, the majority of future monarchs won’t accede to the throne until they are significantly beyond retirement age. Charles is already 63 and Elizabeth QoS is showing no signs of the end being near. As a system it kind of worked when monarchs were only expected to live into their 50s or 60s…

  3. An excellent essay! I was intrigued by the idea of an independent Scotland keeping the Queen as Head of State. Not an odd idea, when she is HoS of 15 other countries.

    Re Rickster’s comment: Charles’ situation is actually quite common. Off the top of my head, George IV and Edward VII waited almost as long. I’m sure there were more.

    I like the idea of not fixing what ain’t broke. A hereditary monarchy works because it is above party politics; and this particular hereditary monarchy works because it moves with the times.

    We tried doing without and look what happened – we re-instated it 🙂

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