Having reached the age of 55 and remaining single - happily or otherwise - there are two women who have always been in my life: Shirley Bassey, and the Queen. Now a youthful 75, the Diva lives in semi-retirement in Monaco, but the Queen is 85 years young and still going strong. Her Consort, Prince Philip
, is 90, and he too is going strong by her side.
It has to be said that not everyone is as impressed with Her Majesty as this humble and loyal subject. According to Socialist Worker
in April of last year in a report apparently written some time previously
by Tom Walker, Junior assistant royal reporter (is that some sort of in-joke?):
“She sits in a £1 billion palace—the most valuable house in the world—surrounded by priceless crystal chandeliers and furniture lined with GOLD. And you’ve paid for all of it...Grandmother-of-eight Queen Elizabeth II has made a career out of having kids and getting the state to fund them.
super scrounger hasn’t done an honest day’s work in her life—an incredible 82 years.
But that hasn’t stopped her raking in more than £450,000 a DAY to fund her lavish lifestyle.”
Hmm, well, if she didn't live in a palace, she wouldn't be much of a queen, would she? It is true that Her Majesty has a larger than average income, but she also has a larger than average shopping bill. As to her being idle, well, that is not strictly true. In no particular order, here are a few of her many functions:
State visits to other countries
welcoming other heads of state to Britain
declaring war over
appointing bishops and archibishops on government advice
reading red boxes
full of official documents every day
holding at least three Royal Garden Parties every year for around 8,000 people which entails constantly circulating, smiling, shaking hands and being polite to people she may not particularly like
visiting hospitals, schools, factories and other institutions
Here is her calendar of duties
The Queen also does much more, and as she has now been doing this for 60 glorious years, it is only fitting that she should be honoured in right Royal style. Well, it wouldn't be left Royal style, would it?
It has been announced today
that the Diamond Jubilee will be celebrated by a “1,000-boat flotilla reflecting the UK's maritime heritage”.
Yeah, I know, Rule, Britannia!
ain't what it used to be, but neither are nostalgia or other fings
There will be much more besides including specially commissioned music, but the centrepiece of the celebrations will be the Royal Couple aboard a barge decorated in red and gold in a seven mile procession on Sunday, June 3 down the Thames from Putney to Tower Bridge. Tower Bridge is of course right next to the Tower of London, which hopefully is where the staff of Socialist Worker
will be detained by Royal Prerogative until they learn to sing God Save The Queen
in key. If only!