When you tell a three year old he’s going to see the Queen, it’s likely that he’ll take it that literally.
Well that was all rather fun wasn’t it! Four whole days of cheering and bunting and Pimm’s and, importantly, no work.
I think my opinion of the monarchy might have actually changed a bit after this. Being a liberal type, I’m uneasy with people having inherent advantages due to the blind luck of birth, what with it being morally indefensible and all. There’s always been a big question of what purpose the Queen actually serves, and until this weekend I think I’ve been unfairly harsh by categorizing it as ‘sweet FA’.
The Diamond Jubilee, however, has to my mind provided examples of the four invaluable services the monarchy gives us:
- Shared ideals, sense of community, other stuff us left-wingers tend to fail to achieve constantly
- Public holidays. Not to be sniffed at.
- Perhaps most importantly, COMEDY GOLD!
- Prince Phillip (see 3.)
Let’s treat these all separately. Taking number 1, it’s actually been great to see the vast majority of the country rally around a common cause for once. In the UK we’re exceptionally good at creating reasons to be afraid of each other, we’ve got entire media agencies who make a living out of peddling fear, but stood out on the banks of the Thames on Sunday with a million other people from all walks of life cheering on a floating octogenarian did wonders for my own faith in humanity, and was a nice middle finger to the Daily Mail and its ilk. I had verbal contact with at least 10 different strangers, and I was not once raped or stabbed or shot or robbed. I also had a three year old nephew in tow, and I can happily confirm that he did not once get paedophiled.
Three year old nephew was one of the other highlights of the weekend actually. As adults, we tend to get cynical and bitter and indifferent to life (see every other post I have ever written), but small nephew #1 was the epitome of excitement all weekend.
Sunday was also nephew in question’s first trip to London, and after some mild screaming on the tube (“IT’S DARK!”), he was happily waving his flag at every single person he spotted. As well as shouting for the Queen aaaalllll day.
We managed to get him waving at the rich folk on the waterfront balconies at Chelsea in the hope that they’d let us in. This did not pay off.
A kindly elderly couple got him up on a stepladder for part of the flotilla, so he got to see Claire Balding in Gloriana at the head of the procession and he was chuffed with that. Incidentally, a good friend of mine also saw Claire Balding in Gloriana at the head of the procession, assumed it was the Queen and left. He waited at Battersea for three hours to see the Queen, and all he got was Claire Balding. Heartbreaking.
Public holidays. Free days off. Enough said.
Comedy value. There have been some top jokes doing the rounds. My two personal favourites are as follows:
1) I hope the Queen has had a vajazzle done recently so that she can call it her Diamond Foobilee. (This made the top two because I made it up)
2) I hope the Queen has gone for a poo today so she can call it her Diamond Jubilee flotilla.
Just a couple there, if you’ve got some crackers then stick them in the comments.
Prince Phillip. Having a whale of a time on Sunday, decided he couldn’t be arsed with the rest of it. Bang, bladder infection. He’ll be in hospital just long enough for the festivities to end and the commoners to bugger off, then he’ll magically be right as rain.
What a hero.
Anyway, sorry if you were coming into this expecting me to slate the whole event, I just think it’s all been rather excellent.
I’m going to have to start reading the Mail from now on, aren’t I?