Friday, 1 June 2012
Queenie's Big Day.
This weekend is the Diamond Jubilee of the Queen of England. That's why I was standing on a chair hanging Union Jack bunting in the front desk of a police station at 01:30 this morning while a colleague stood around drinking tea and saying it looked uneven.
There will be street parties throughout the UK and a huge ceremony in London full of marching soldiers, big gold coaches and all sorts of shiny stuff.
I have to admit to being conflicted over the Royal family. The total campiness of the whole thing is one reason, people associated with Royals wear ridiculously ostentatious military uniforms, hats with so many feathers it looks like a chicken has landed on their head, bright coloured sashes, enormous epaulettes and yards of gold braid. The sort of clothing insane, Third World dictators are quite partial to.
As for the Queen, her full state robes are so blinged up that P Diddy would probably say that she was going too far. The Imperial State Crown contains 3,000 diamonds, 277 pearls, 17 sapphires, 11 emeralds and 4 rubies, and this is just her hat! Chuck in all the other jewellery, the ermine cloak and gold sceptre and you have a display of wealth that is frankly taking the piss.
As writer Charlie Brooker once said, if Donald Trump walked down Wall Street wearing a top hat made out of dollar bills he'd be criticised for being a crass, tasteless idiot, yet we all wave flags and clap when the Queen does the equivalent of this.
It would be nice if she were to celebrate her 60 years on the throne by selling some of this useless tat and using the money to buy hospitals or schools for her subjects, just a thought your Majesty, if you are reading this.
Another reason is that we are in the 21st Century, what are we still doing with Queens and Princesses, Dukes and Baronesses and Lords? It's like being in bloody Dungeons & Dragons, we might as well have wizards and goblins as well.
Yet I have grown up with this stuff, it is part of my country and my character and although I may criticise and complain I still have this feeling of pride, how many other countries cling onto tradition the way us Brits do? It may be archaic and weird but it's one of the things that defines us as a nation and for all my sneering I'd miss it if it was gone.
So Happy Diamond Jubilee to you all, no matter what country you are in or your belief systems are. I hope you have a good one.