Op-Ed: Diamond Jubilee — A splendid time was had by all. Almost
The Diamond Jubilee celebrations including two extra public holidays are now over, and it is time to look back on an event that everyone enjoyed. Apart from the usual suspects.
Some people just can't stand to see others having fun, and some people take dogma to the silliest lengths. Would it surprise you to learn there is a considerable overlap with these two groups? On May 29, a contributor to Socialist Worker
wrote that the Queen pretends the Royals are a normal family and that her third pregnancy in 1959 (Prince Andrew) was timed to assist a Conservative election victory.
The first of these claims is absurd, although the House of Windsor has gone through a lot of things that ordinary families do, including messy divorces, bereavement and doubtless a lot of things that are nobody's business but their own. The second claim is too silly to comment on.
On Monday morning, commenting to the BBC Breakfast
news programme, Cliff Richard summed up
what most of Her Majesty's loyal subjects feel, who would not want a Royal Family? We know that, of course, but we can consign these voices to the left wing fantasy world where they belong.
Her Jubilee tour has taken the Queen from Bromley to Burnley
and far beyond; it has seen her at the Epsom Derby; it has seen her sailing down the Thames
thronged by adoring crowds, and Monday night it saw a spectacular concert at Buckingham Palace ten years on from the last one - the Golden Jubilee concert - which saw Brian May playing God Save The Queen
on the rooftop.
The Diamond Jubilee concert saw performances from big names: the aforementioned Cliff Richard, Paul McCartney and Elton John - all three of them knights - Shirley Bassey, Gary Barlow, Stevie Wonder from the States and Kylie Minogue from Down Under. And following on from Brian May's iconic performance, the band Madness performed on the top of the Palace, the song was appropriately Our House
, which included an imaginative light display. After the concert, the Queen herself lit the last of the 4,000+ beacons that have been lit across Britain and the Commonwealth.
The only sad point was that the Duke of Edinburgh was unable to attend, having been hospitalised with an infection, but as he addressed the crowds, Prince Charles said if they cheered loudly enough, he might hear them in his hospital bed.
Also performing at the concert was an African children's choir
, which begs the question, if the British Empire
was such a bad thing, why is it still so popular with so many of its former subjects?
The following day, Tuesday, was the ceremonial day of the celebrations, which included a service at St Paul's Cathedral. People came from far and wide, including a good few from Canada. Although President Obama couldn't attend, he sent the Queen a personal message
. To keep abreast with her future engagements, check out the Royal Channel
on Facebook; like her detractors at Socialist Worker
, Her Majesty is always busy, but unlike them, she is always doing something useful.