Wednesday, 6 June 2012

That's all folks!

So that's that then. The jubilee.

There's a lot that could be said, but will have to remain unspoken. Besides, I notice this morning that Mark Steel has blogged most of what I'd planned to say - the bounder!

Will we ever see another? Jubilee, that is? Sixty years is a long time; Charles is unlikely to make it. And who knows what the Monarchy will be like in sixty years time or even if it will still be around at all.

I'd put my money on it surviving. Although I'm not the House of Windsor's most loyal supporter, the office is what matters and I'm not sure that a grinning, waving superannuated ex-politician of a President could carry it off. Not for us. Because we see through all that nonsense, don't we?

Well, I like to think we do. But then the last four days occur and I'm not too sure. The service at St Pauls - tick; the concert - tick; even the flotilla (I suppose, if I must) - tick. But all the screaming fans and endless 'Oh, I think she's marvellous'-ing from the masses. Come on folks, we're British. We can do the pageantry. Because we know what that stands for.

But all that, what... emotion. Genuine? I can never be certain.

I'm sure the woman who wailed 'Diana' as the coffin made its first appearance that sad day over a decade ago was genuinely upset. But the torrent of crying and hang-wringing and weeping it seemed to provoke in some of the crowd was in marked contrast to the silent dignity of those who had reason to weep, but didn't.

And I know there are those who will criticise that as buttoned-up, stuffed shirt, upper lip-stiffening. But I'm not so sure. Those Guardsmen standing tall and unmovable with Robbie Williams gurning under their noses; Her Majesty herself clearly moved but utterly composed at the reference to her absent husband. Those were the things I was celebrating; those are the things that make me feel British. And those are the things - if we have one at all - that I want a monarchy to represent for me.

And I like it done quietly, with dignity. Not with patronising 'It's a Knockabout' attempts at being entertaining (thanks all the same, Edward darling). And I sometimes wonder how much longer that it will be.

The next sixty years will certainly tell. But until then, and maybe forever...


  1. We might have two coronations within the space of twenty years!

    **screams hysterically and waves a mini union jack**

    1. Oh, Lord...

      Mind you, I'd enjoy the ceremonies in the Abbey.

      (And how nice to see you here again btw, Ms Blue!)

  2. It was refreshing to see such a lack of hysteria this time. (Don't forget, I'm coming from the land of the unabashed and over-emotional, otherwise known as the USA).
    I have even been mildly amused at some of the game shows here, which are so much more sedate than in the States, where every competitor jumps up and down every time s/he gets an answer right. I was watching the one with the Chaser the other day and you'd hardly have known that the winning team had just won thousands of pounds each! Fabulous!

    1. Oh I know, I do love that too EM. My especially favourite moment was when the poor girl reading the prayers at St Paul's started on the wrong page and merely said 'oops' and carried on.

      In certain countries she'd be having therapy by now...

  3. I agree with you about the quiet dignity. The Royals scrub up well and we Brits know how to put on a good show but the hysterical outpouring of love is over the top, in my humble.

    I'm not a great fan of Royalty as can be seen from my recent blogpost

    but I love my country and I am patriotic.

    Some fun teasing from across the pond:

  4. Definitely no hysterical outpourings in the Working Mum house! I'm not an ardent royalist, but I enjoyed the Thames Pageant and the Service of Thanksgiving as perfect examples of how to celebrate her reign in a dignified way. I'm now putting my bunting away until the Platinum Jubilee.....

  5. All I know is that it brought about such a lovely community spirit, those few days were everyone joined in and just had a good time, it was lovely to see and share, I just hope we don't have to wait 60 years to see such community activity! x

  6. It was lovely to see such community spirit, everyone coming to celebrate the Queens Jubilee, long live the Queen and the community spirit! x

  7. I watched the Jubilee on the TV in Singapore and it made me emotional in a very british way, I think because the atmosphere seemed so amazing and because it made it made me miss home. I wanted to cry but my britishness wouldn't let me because we just don't do that. Sad really!

    Sounds like I'm totally outnumbered but I think Brits tend to be emotionally backward and think we can learn a few things from the Americans. I don't think showing emotions means a lack of dignity, quite the opposite in fact.

  8. I thoroughly enjoyed it all. It made me proud to be British to see everyone coming together and cheering Her Majesty for 60 years of giving continuity to the nation in changing times.

  9. I truly appreciated this perspective, Tim! I am grateful to be in a constitutional monarchy, and I do like what Sarah says here when she thanks Her Majesty for 60 years of 'giving continuity to the nation in changing times.'
    I didn't get to watch much of the concert, but I caught Madness on top of the palace with the fantastic light show. Great fun!

  10. The monarchy will survive. Charles has not waited all this time to throw it all away.


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