Saturday, 2 June 2012

Sixty - Not out

The Queen's Diamond Jubilee is a great chance for Britain to put the recession, bad news, negativity and hard times behind us for a few days and celebrate a great achievement.

Even if you don't like the Queen, you get an extra day off for the Bank Holiday this week.  It just a shame the we're getting typically British Bank Holiday weather.  Never mind - brollies out.

I wouldn't say that I'm a staunch monarchist but if I was forced to pick between the Cavaliers or the Roundheads I'd definitely side with the Royalist camp.

It wasn't always like this.  I used to think that the Monarchy was outdated and irrelevant.

Not any more.  I think the Monarchy is vital for our national identity.  If we were a republic we'd have to try to reinvent ourselves, possibly every four or five years, with each new government that tried to stamp its own political identity on the country.  A Monarch provides non-political continuity - as Her majesty has done for the past 60 years.

Sixty years in the same job is a remarkable feat - even more so when you consider that, but for the abdication of her uncle, the Queen would only be Princess Elizabeth today - cousin to the Monarch.

Our elected leaders arrive on a minimum 4 year tenure, knowing that if they really mess up they'll be out on their backsides at the next election.  The thing is, they'll go with a guaranteed pension and the chance to make millions on the lecture circuit, board memberships and their autobiography.

The monarch though, is there for life.

I watched a documentary hosted by the Prince of Wales, in which he showed cine films made by members of the Royal Family.  The programme concluded with a film made by the Duke of Edinburgh.  It was taken on the plane home after the news of the death of King George the Sixth.  The film captured the twenty six year old Queen to be in an off guard moment, her face a mix of grief and apprehension at the role she was about to assume.

For the last six decades she has ruled and served admirably and should be proud of her achievements, just as the country is (in most part) proud of her.  It's a shame that in this country displays of national pride tend to be frowned on for fear of offending those who are not native to these shores.  There is nothing offensive about being proud of your heritage (and we have over a thousand years of it).

National pride is not Nationalism.  The two things are worlds apart.

When the Jubilee celebrations are over the Union flag, as well as the flags of the individual countries that make up the UK should continue to fly.  We're a great nation and we should shout about it more and louder than we do.

1 comment:

  1. You've pretty much summed up my feelings about the monarchy - and much better than I usually do when discussing the topic :-)