Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Would jubileeve it?

"Our lovely young queen" as Paul McCartney once wrote in a school essay.

I've written before about the joyous realisation that Britain is secretly quite patriotic, contrary to our outward appearance of being a bit grumpy and cynical. And while this weekend's celebrations are an excuse for a four-day booze up, there has been a feeling of genuine pride and happiness about the Queen's jubilee.

Not many 86 year olds would willingly spend hours standing in the cold and rain with nothing to do but wave, but HRH does it all with her characteristic stoicism. I don't suppose she was too keen on the pop concert either, but she put on a brave face. She looked about as impressed as I was with Kylie (seriously! We know she sounds like a chipmunk, accentuating this by putting her on straight after Shirley Bassey was just cruel). And I'm afraid I am completely underwhelmed by Gary Barlow's famous contribution it's tuneless and insipid and dull. (A bit like The Voice, a programme I was excited about until I'd watched the first episode and discovered it had just as many sob stories and image obsessions as the X factor. (Danny: "It's really hard to judge, because you can't see them....") I didn't watch it again until the final, which was won by a lovely girl whose vocals reminded me of a runaway bus, with her clinging tenuously to the tune with no idea where she was going to go next.)

I fear I am becoming as bitchy as Amanda Platell (a tall order, admittedly. But I think I could get there if you took away my chocolate supply and made me look at Kylie's face and listen to her say she's never had Botox). But I will point out to Mandy that Kate Middleton looked lovely and NOT showy-off in her red outfit, that the Royal group were beautifully co-ordinated and really, is there any doubt that they would have had all their wardrobe choices organised and approved well in advance? (Although I'm not entirely sure about the Queen's cream coat being paired with black shoes and handbag...) Does Platell seriously think that the Duchess just turned up in the first eye-catching scarlet outfit she found on her bedroom floor? Durrrr!

Red, white and blue. Perfect.

The crowd cheered and waved their little Union Jack flags for all they were worth. (Small rant here: My local shops ran out of bunting weeks ago. I'm not a supermarket manager, but I could have told you that it would sell out fast. Why can't these people stock-take properly? Get more in next time you imbeciles.)

Cliff sang Congratulations!, the BBC filled in time with inane chatter in the manner of breakfast time DJs, and so far I think we have had only one runaway horse (or "horse streaker" as he was dubbed). We may complain about the weather, but I bet all those in bearskins were heartily grateful for the lack of sun. As mayor Boris pointed out, it wouldn't have been a proper British occasion without a bit of rain.

All in all, it's great time to be British. You'd have to be particularly heartless not to have a little lump in your throat as the crowd sang as much of God save the Queen as anyone could remember, Charles called her Majesty "Mummy" and the spectacular fireworks lit up the London sky. Elizabeth II will be long remembered as one of the best monarchs Britain has ever had which is why I am perplexed by the people who claim she "sits on her arse" all year round. Um, do you have ANY IDEA of her schedule? It's would make Beyoncé balk. (And Liz is about 55 years older.) Also bizarre is the idea that she's completely out of touch with the rest of the world; yes, she lives in a palace, but she travels more and speaks to more people than YOU will in a year. Who has the bigger world view?

Not only that, but 60 years on, she's still a style icon.

Three cheers, for the Queen, indeed. Hip hip hooray!

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