Yesterday was Will and Kate’s big day. It was clear that a million or so people were going to join them, and I don’t like being the odd one out, so I booked a bus up to town. I remember watching the Queen’s Golden Jubilee celebrations in 2002 and regretting not going. These events don’t come around very often, so you have to take the chance when it comes.
Not that yesterday came close to matching the Golden Jubilee. Smaller crowds. No grand lightshow and firework display on Buck Palace. They left the coronation coach in the workshop. And it wasn’t finished off with a rendition of Land of Hope and Glory followed by a fly-by of Concorde and the Red Arrows. Of course, as fabulous as Concorde is, it isn’t possible to have fly-bys anymore. Although I have read reports that one of them might be returned to the skies for the Olympics.
But to be fair, the Golden Jubilee was 50 years in the making and was for the Queen herself, not some young whipper snapper who is potentially decades away from taking the throne for himself. And it has to be said, yesterday’s event couldn’t for a moment be referred to as ‘small’. It was a shame though that I wasn’t feeling terribly well, and lacked the enthusiasm to do an awful lot of photography. I did get one of the Queen herself mind you. All my photos can be seen on Flickr by clicking here.
It was a nice enough day out. I can’t say I’d label myself a Royalist. Nor am I a republican either. I’m happy enough with the status quo. Since going on an economic diet some years ago, a fair chunk of the cost associated with the Royal Family today is money that would be spent anyway, maintaining palaces and castles. Besides, we’d only go and replace them with a President, and for all the Windsors faults, I’d have them over a President Thatcher, Blair or Brown. And most definitely over Fuhrer Cameron.
There are pros and cons to Royalty. It is rather elitist. But then, we’re talking about so few of them, it really isn’t worth getting upset about. During times when the parliamentary leaders have become international liabilities or pariahs, such as Blair from 2003 to 2007, you can send the Royals off to represent the country free from the political baggage and protests that would accompany government officials. They are also more easy to relate to prestige, tradition and stability.
I’d liken them to an old 60’s Rolls Royce. Sure, it guzzles petrol. It rather belongs to ‘yesterday’. It has eccentricities and peculiar foibles. But it isn’t driven much really and comes with a few perks too. To top it off, the price of change just isn’t worth the effort, and anyway – who on earth would want to be represented by a Ford Focus when they could have a grand old Rolls do the job?