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.






34 comments:

YeamieWaffles said...

I'm kind of with you on the subject of royals man, the concept is definitely outdated and all of that but for some reason I still don't wish the Queen bad this Jubilee in the slightest, here's hoping she has a great one.

Jeannie said...

She's our Queen over here in Canada too although we are a step removed. There are some who are Royal crazy but I'm guessing they are not in Quebec. I seesaw. I think it's a "nice" tradition - perhaps not quite worth all the money spent on public displays and maintenance but I don't know. It would be an interesting study to see if there is any accompanying stability to Britain and the colonies because of them. The fact that they remain is a testament to their own ability to change with the times - other countries overthrew their royalty for thinking far too much of themselves and not enough of the people. They do provide a personality to go with patriotism that a flag or emblem or temporary prime minister or president just can't match.

Bart said...

why do ppl still care about this old hag? she ain't my queen.

Paige Kellerman said...

I think tradition and culture are so closely tied, that it would make me a little sad if you guys booted the old girl out and stopped doing things like wearing fascinators and miles of brocade.

I mean, we make fun of it over here, but, ummm, everyone I know watched Royal wedding and secretly wants to start wearing fascinators to company picnics.

Padded Cell Princess said...

I could see the royal family taking a bit of a back burner once the Queen and Prince Philip are gone (I think they are pretty much kept around just because Prince Philip is so entertaining!). Charles and Camilla aren't as easy to be endeared to so I say boot their jewel crusted asses once the old lady's no more. If there's any consolation for the Jubilee, it's the 4 day bank holiday! There's a reason to celebrate!

Azra said...

As a former colony, I was quite surprised by the fuss our government has made over it. I guess it's big news.

What I don't get is that for all the "modernisation" that the Royal family has ascribed to over the years, the whole institution still seems to be stuck in the dark ages.

But I can't argue with you - it has it's own charm and in this terribly messed up contemporary world, its long-standing continuity and tradition brings a sense of warmth and comfort to most and it would certainly be missed if it ceased to exist!

Lisa Shafer said...

I've been reading a biography of the Queen lately. Quite decent.
I've always thought quite highly of the Queen as a person. She seems like a lovely lady. But I do wish she'd managed not to get stuck in the 50s fashion-wise.
Well, enjoy all the pomp and circumstance. I hope you have nice weather for it all.

Janie Junebug said...

You do have wizards! Trained at Hogwarts! How many more years will it take for Lizzie to beat Vickie's record as queenie? And Trump is a crass, tasteless idiot all the time. He doesn't have to wear a dollar bill top hat.

Love,
Janie

Juliette said...

Having just watched Prince Charles tribute to her, I have to say that I'm feeling very proud and patriotic. Aside from all the pomp and pageantry, she's done a stellar job as a monarch. Plus we get two days holiday!

Pat Hatt said...

Yeah those hats are soo ugly it isn't funny and I think it's great to hold onto tradition but all the money wasted on them is stupid.

Nicki Elson said...

Thank goodness that colleague was there to make sure the bunting was straight.

I feel like you do about the royals - seems so silly and ridiculous, but the world would be a sadder place if they were to go away. Actually, that's sorta how I feel about Disney World too.

And guess what, the shop where I work - in Midwest America - is hosting a Diamond Jubilee Tea tomorrow and it's been sold out since March!

Stina Lindenblatt said...

I grew up in England until I was eleven, but I agree with what you're saying. It is ridiculous that she has all of that expensive jewelry and yet the subjects are in need of some many more important things. But at least she doesn't wear it all the time.

I cracked up at the Dungeons & Dragon line. I used to read historical romances. There weren't any wizards and goblins in them. Just handsome Dukes and Barons.

Deus Ex Machina said...

I would be totally mortified if I had to admit that I watched Will and Kate's wedding. Yeah. The whole thing....

Belle said...

I have read that the Queen brings in millions in tourism. If that is true I guess the monarchy is worth it. I agree with you about the jewels. Sell them and help the citizens.

Tony Van Helsing said...

Matthew: I can't bring myself to dislike them.

Jeannie: Beautifully put.

Bart: At least we don't assassinate our Royal family. Not recently anyway.

Paige: I'm still not clear on what fascinators or brocade is.

Princess: Most people want William to take over, Charles is too much of a kiss ass.

Azra: Most of Africa and places like Afghanistan are truly in the dark ages.

Lisa: When I'm in my 80's I'll dress like I'm in the 50's too.

Janie: Eton is actually Hogwarts, without the magic shit.

Juliette: I get ones days holiday then one days double time. God bless the Queen.

Pat: All hats are stupid.

Nicki: You can't have a Diamond Jubilee Tea, this holiday is ours so back off!

Tony Van Helsing said...

Stina: If she wore all her jewellery at once you wouldn't be able to see her under the mound of bling.

Deus: I definitely didn't watch it. I was driving down from the Lake District and listened to it on the radio while driving through English villages full of bunting.

Belle: The tourism money is the only thing that stops us chopping her head off.

Jax said...

P. Diddy Vs. The Queen of England. I would love to see that fashion show ;)

Mark Koopmans said...

As a lad who grew up in Dublin during the '70s and '80s, there were many around the streets who dissed on the English... but after living in Blighty for three years '93-'96) I wasn't wrong in staying out of the "dissingness."

I think it's great that the Queen is being honored. God bless her and may she have a wonderful, happy 60th celebration :)

Tara Tyler said...

royalty is historic, a link to the past. we will always be fascinated by castles and ancient medieval ways, look at ame of thrones!

so cool! but dragons & goblins would a,e it even cooler...

Tara Tyler said...

make, oops! dang ipad!

Bart said...

hell to the yeah for mullets

Tony Van Helsing said...

Jax: a fight between them would be even better.

Mark: Whereabouts did you live?

Tara: Game of Thrones is not set in England, I assume you are aware of this.

Barts: Mullets rule!

Missed Periods said...

I totally get why you feel conflicted, but if someone gave me a golden sceptre, I'd totally take it. Happy Diamond Jubilee to you!

Beau Thompson said...

As a Canadian - OMGOMGOMG I LOVE THE QUEEN

Katsidhe said...

It IS a little insane when you think about royalty actually still existing. It's also a little insane to think that something like a "jubilee" exists, but I guess any excuse to rock the uber version of the crown is a good one.

altadenahiker said...

Well, it keeps you folks on the front page over here (or close to it).

Samantha Vérant said...

Hey, I'm a self-proclaimed princess. I could really use that crown (and a cherry jubilee???)

Workingdan said...

I never understood the point behind decorating ones self with so much expensive attire that could feed a small country. Seems like such a waste of resources.

"We get it, you are rich. Now why don't you just try living comfortably and make better use of your fortune" Workingdan.

Geek's Paradise said...

Correct me if I'm wrong, and I probably am since I'm an American, but isn't the royal family pretty much just symbolic these days? Do they still have any actual power when it comes to government?

Craziness abounds said...

First you have to respect the kind of neck strength this woman must have! Are you serious? This must way a ton! Second I think it's kind of cool that the Brits hold on to their traditions. We may not call them Kidns and Queens but are presidents really that different except for the fact that they don't rule for 60 plus years? Next you used my favorite saying (One that you have taught me and explained!) taking the piss Love it!

Elisa Hirsch said...

That is so fun--and a bit magical. Everything over there seems magical to me, even those wild royal outfits. I hope I'll get to travel when my army of kids grow up ;)

Tony Van Helsing said...

Periods: I wouldn't know what to do with a sceptre.

Beau: She love you too.

Katsidhe: It's an insane world.

Alta: Royalty is the only thing Americans are interested in when it comes to this country.

Samantha: And I am a self proclaimed king.

Workingdan: Well said, my good man.

Geeks: They don't hold any power or have any say in governance these days.

Craziness: I have never thought about the Queens neck strength until now, thanks.

Elisa: Have enough kids and you can invade us.

Damon said...

Good Information. Follow

Dr Zibbs said...

She seems like a nice lady but the whole royal thing is disturbing to me in 2012.