As the nation gears up for a massive celebration this weekend, I’ve been thinking about the monarchy. It’s very hard to ignore all the newspaper supplements, tacky souvenirs, bunting and flags over the past few weeks. The country has gone blue, red and white crazy – and why not? This weekend will bring together neighbours, communities and strangers to celebrate the Queen’s 60 years on the throne.
But how has the monarchy affected my life? I am, after all, one of her loyal subjects.
The short answer is they haven’t. To be honest I don’t have a strong view of the monarchy at all. Every time Prince Philip opens his mouth, I hold my head in my hands, admire Charles for sticking his oar in when it comes to the environment – someone has to look out for our green and pleasant land – and enjoyed watching two people in love get married.
The royal family have been there in the background of my life. They’re as part of Great Britain as bobbies on the beat, the original Mini and cheddar cheese. Our history is famous world over, and the royal family are a tourist attraction in themselves.
My brother and I are the same age as William and Harry (I’m the oldest) and our lives are very different. However, we do share the same similarities – partying, heartaches, doing some pretty daft things and the sense of responsibility. Thankfully for my brother and I, our lives are not splashed across the tabloids every time we draw breath.
The Queen is merely a figurehead. The people who run this country are in Parliament – they’re the people who I’ve voted for and are making (poor) decisions on my behalf.
If there’s one thing the Queen and the monarchy have done in my life, it has been to bring the country together. Let’s be honest, the last few years have been terrible and we haven’t had much to cheer about. If for one day we put aside out differences, celebrate together as a country and smile, then good. I’m not knocking it.
Happy Jubilee everyone!