Summer has finally hit London and the circuses are all on their way to town. It’s just what the masses need in these straightened times – the Olympics and the Queen’s Jubilee.
Well, it helps distract from the drought, Greece, the EU meltdown, the Leveson enquiry, the Tories increasing destabilisation and the ever diminishing disposable income of the squeezed middle as the wrong things rise and the right things fall away.
Let’s to Lizzie 2. I have to admit two things. One of my heroes is Elizabeth 1 – too much historical BBC drama as an impressionable girl. Liz 1 is forever Glenda Jackson: proud, imperious and tough as hell. The second is that being from the land of convicts I really don’t care a great deal about the royals and do see them as essentially a tourist attraction. But I did enjoy The King’s Speech and one of my enduring memories is a picture of Elizabeth in her yellow dress on our primary school hall wall . So a bit conflicted…
You can’t really argue with Liz2 as an impressive piece of work. She’s now been sitting on that throne for 60 years – as long as Victoria, another one to be admired. I liked the story about her sulking at Bath for years – a great one for holding grudges, our Vicki. And it’s been a bit of a turbulent time – true Elizabeth came to ‘power’ (what power does she really have, poor thing?) after WW2 but the world has hardly been a peaceful place in that time. She’s presided over perhaps the most energetic and dynamic 60 years in many a millennium. I bet she barely recognises the world today as the one she claimed as queen in 1952.
Her family are hardly a joy – those boys of hers haven’t covered the crown in glory. Charles is seen as a bit of an eccentric fool, Andrew – once heart-throb to many – has degenerated into a man who keeps dubious company, Edward mercifully fades away. Anne, God bless her, does the right thing – serene, seemly and regal. In fact, just like her mum. Lizzie did endure quite a lot with those silly ex-daughters in law, Diana and Fergie, who simply didn’t know how to behave did they? She must love Kate – who knows how to smile and stay shtum.
You’ve got to admire 60 years of never saying the wrong thing, and Elizabeth never has. Not once (even though we can accept a misjudgement of the public sentiment over Diana). Her manners, her speeches, her public performances have all been impeccable. Is that because Phil manages to put his foot in it so often? Is that where the boys get it from?
So, I doffs my colonial hat to Lizzie 2. 60 years in one of the world’s most exposed and probably unrewarding jobs. She’s still working, still smiling, still a colourful presence in our firmament. I love her hats and her style. I’m happy to support her celebrations and all she brings to the country – especially Phil, who has proven to be quite an amusing chap, his gauche foot-in-mouth efforts now smiled upon by nearly all of us, feeling quite benevolent towards our pair of geriatric royals.
A woman who loves dogs and horses and a man like Phil can’t be all that bad. Happy Jubilee to all.
(pictures courtesy Google Images)