Article from The Tyne Valley Express
In a special address to the nation, after the celebrations to mark her Diamond Jubilee were over, the Queen said:
“It has touched me deeply to see so many thousands of families, neighbours and friends celebrating together”.
It was a heartfelt, reflective address and our stoical monarch really did appear to have been moved by the warmth of feeling towards her and her family.
The four days of celebrations were quite wonderful. There was the Diamond Jubilee Flotilla on the Thames which saw a thousand boats sailing or rowing down the river in the best of British rain. There was the concert at Buckingham Palace where performers including Paul McCartney, Tom Jones and Robbie Williams paid homage to His Majesty, (who was later said to have been wearing earplugs). And finally there was the Thanksgiving Service at St.Pauls and the carriage drive through the City.
Throughout this exhausting schedule, the Queen remained composed and inscrutable, even though Prince Philip was hospitalized. Around the country, shops were full of Union Flagged merchandise, streets were strewn with red, white and blue and parties held around the country. There was hardly a voice of dissent, not even from the anti-monarchists and all have agreed that the celebrations have united the country and made Britain a cheerier place.
The Queen’s renewed popularity at this time is pretty incredible when you consider how unpopular she was after the death of Princess Diana and after her ”annis horribilis” twenty years ago when Windsor Castle caught fire and she was criticized for her tax-exempt status.
Much of the resurgence in support for the Royal Family follows the marriage of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge last year and the so-called “Kate Effect”. The Duchess of Cambridge may well be a “commoner” but she has succeeded because she is a strong, well educated woman in her own right who knows when to step back from the limelight. She is proving an excellent companion for the Queen and the Duchess of Cornwall, as well as Prince William. She is not too formal but remains approachable and dignified. What is more, her High-Street style chimes with the national mood during this period of austerity.
The patriotism on display during the Jubilee weekend demonstrates that public opinion is definitely pro-Royal but there is also a pervading feeling of us all being in “it “ together, whatever “it” is. The ubiquitous “Keep Calm and Carry on” poster, the original of which was discovered in the archives of the region’s very own “Barter Books”, may be said to have become so popular because it too embodies that British spirit of unity, commitment and courage.
At a time when we are once again in economic recession, when the Euozone crisis threatens and when even Englebert Humperdinck can muster only 12 points in the Eurovision Song Contest, we Britons can still hold our heads high. It seems we don’t want to scrap our history and heritage for a Head of State who is an ex-politician or civil servant, we want to hang out bunting, sing “God Save the Queen” and rock with Royalty. For the time being at least, we are happy to practice positive patriotism.
Joanne Major is owner of Major Family Law, the Divorce and Family Law Specialists.
Tel: 01661 824582 www.majorfamilylaw.co.uk. Twitter: @MajorFamilyLaw