The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee has kept me very busy over the last few days……. and that is not to do with the two lots of visitors. I have found myself going down memory lane, fascinated by the celebrations and images and stories of other people.
She became Queen in 1952 but the Coronation took place in June 1953 so I guess we are in the throes of a whole year of Jubilee celebrations. However, the main events took place over the past weekend amid typical summer weather….. rain, winds, cold….. and engendered a kind of “let’s do it” attitude that we Brits are quite good at.
In 1953 I was nine years old. I remember the excitement of getting a television for the first time – it was a nine inch screen. Friends and neighbours were treated to a day-long Coronation Party with sandwiches and sherry being handed round. When I got fed up staring at the screen, I rushed outside with my friends into the street and played at coronation-service and knights and dragons. A night or two before the big day, my parents took me up to London to see the decorations and rows of seats lining the Mall. In one respect I wondered what all the fuss was about, and yet at the same time I was thrilled to be a part of the hustle and bustle. It felt as if London was the centre of the world. Therein lies the secret to my ongoing fascination with royalty.
Although I am half Scottish, my Father was English and I grew up in South-East London, where I went to a rather posh Guild Grammar School. I point that out because it has seemed to me that the Jubilee-Excitement of this weekend has been centred mainly in England, the Scots have been much more low-key. It’s difficult to fathom out what it means, though worth noting that the First Minister, Alex Salmond, called the Queen, Elizabeth Queen of Scots.
These past few years of austerity have been troubling, to say the least, and like many others, I have ongoing worries for those who have little, or are unemployed or disabled. I’ve ranted enough about the “two posh boys who don’t even know the price of a pint of milk….…” So it has been nice to feel part of a nation who can come through hard times and flourish again.
Let’s hope so anyway.