I’ve never met the Queen. Let alone had tea with her. I’ve seen Buckingham Palace. From the outside. Like most Brits, the Queen is a surreal entity that appears on television now and again. But I am in the monarchist camp. Not because I believe in the monarchist dogma. I just think it ain’t broke, so I’m not really up for spending a whole load of money changing things in favour of an equally expensive president.
The monarchy is a thousand year old tradition. And ever since our kings and queens ceased to play a part in the political goings on in, they’ve been a largely harmless tradition. Although, rumour has it, there have been times they’d like to have been more involved. But it didn’t come to pass. Instead, they enable Britain to project a stable and (generally) dignified image to the international world that rises above the crises our government runs around creating.
But I’m really not that fussed either way. Monarchy or republican. Both camps are kidding themselves but fooling no one else when chatter on about the dangers of the other side. I am certain of this though. The queen has been a mighty fine monarch. Where do you start? Her job was to oversee the decline and dismantlement of the world’s largest empire. A daunting task. She’s done it with great dignity.
Yesterday was the 60th anniversary of her accession to the throne. Six decades. Impressive. But my favourite thing about the Queen? Whenever there’s a big anniversary we get an extra day holiday. This year it will be June 4th. I’ve booked our coach tickets and a hotel room and we will be there to take in the atmosphere. Maybe I’ll get a better photo of her than I did at the Royal Wedding last year. Viva Lizzie!