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Reasons to Be Cheerful Part 1: The Jubilee

May 28, 2012

All of my adult life I’ve wrestled with the Royal Family.  Not literally you understand, although I’m pretty sure I could easily have the lot of ’em (well, maybe not Princess Michael of Kent), but with the idea.  I flip-flop between the opposing notions of them as either inbred parasites sucking up millions of pounds of British taxpayers’ money or important national figureheads, envied the world over and performing lots of lovely charitable works.

As with most things the truth is a grey area somewhere in the middle.

I’ve always had a soft spot for Prince Charles.  Possibly because in 1977, as part of the Silver Jubilee celebrations, he visited my hometown of Cannock.  “Where?”  Precisely.  Nobody knows where it is, but Charles took the trouble to drop by and that meant a lot to us all.  But mainly I like him because he’s so wonderfully and cheerfully rubbish a lot of the time and his heart is definitely in the right place on issues like the environment.  Compare his position to that of the people elected to power who are actually supposed to care about such things but blithely ignore them most of the time.

Prince Charles photographed for his 60th birthday

It’s easy to snipe at the Queen, but I can’t help feeling that anyone who’s done the same job for sixty years deserve at least a little credit and, let’s face it, although she may not carry cash or ever go to the toilet the 86-year-old Elizabeth Windsor’s workload would have most of us crawling back under the duvet each morning whimpering for mercy.

Queen Elizabeth II in her Coronation Robes June 1953

I still think that we could lose 80% of them without anyone really noticing, but as we approach the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee I’m currently favouring the idea that the Royal Family are, on the whole, a Good Thing.  For all my intellectual opposition to an un-elected head of state I know that at the first whiff of bunting and the sight of pearly kings and queens waving Union Jacks I’ll be welling up and reaching for a hanky.

Queen Elizabeth II in her Diamond Jubilee year

What’s so wrong with us all feeling a bit proud of ourselves as a country, especially when so much of the world seems to be heading straight to hell in a handcart?  And whatever the rights or wrongs of how she got there or how her position is maintained Elizabeth II provides a national focus.  Would you seriously want someone like David Cameron or (yikes!) Boris Johnson as Britain’s figurehead?

Say what you like, but I think that the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee is definitely a Reason to Be Cheerful.

One Comment leave one →
  1. May 28, 2012 5:28 pm

    Well said. I’m pretty much on a similar wavelength and have always adopted the “if they don’t bother me, I won’t bother them” approach.
    I did get to meet and talk to Prince Charles and he seemed a decent chap, as do his sons and new daughter-in-law. The likes of the Princess Royal clearly do take their roles very seriously, althoughb the jury remains firmly out on most of the lesser-known Royals.
    I remain largely ambivalent…not to be confused with the Largely-Ambivalents who have been part of the Royal Household for several generations, obviously.

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