Whether you are a royalist or a republican you do have to doff your cap to our longest-serving monarch today. For almost sixty-four years she has been devoted to public service, being a figurehead for our country and a great ambassador abroad.
To get the negatives out of the way quickly, I would always argue that I’d rather have a monarchy than a president – President Cameron anybody? President Boris Johnson? Didn’t think so. While it’s not a perfect system there is a lot of good that the Queen does. I’m in favour of a reduced royal family with some of the hangers-on removed from any kind of financial help. Mind you very few of them do get any real financial rewards.
They live in homes that are in sore need of renovation, travel non-stop to open new buildings, meet boring politicians, walk along railings speaking to the public and many other duties that you or I wouldn’t fancy. The Queen is a great example of someone who, while very well versed in current affairs, keeps her opinions to herself. From all those who work and live around her there are numerous stories of her wit, mimicry and intelligence.
To be born into a job like this must be difficult. For all her years of service to the country she has continued well into her late eighties and although she is slowing down, it is that inherent sense of duty that is the driving force behind her. It was the same with her mother and to large extent she has passed that onto Charles and his two sons as well.
There is also a rather sad reminder that you usually only get the job by your relation dying, so while many are celebrating there must be part of the Queen remembering her father who passed away all those years ago. You can therefore understand why she has not made a big deal of this day as it is tinged with sadness for her.
We can argue over the “cost” of them but let’s be honest they are not breaking the bank or flashing the cash on the latest supercars or gadgetry. I’m no real fan of pomp and ceremony, but even I admire the fact that we have traditions and quirks that no-one else has across the world. Where else would you see the golden carriages and costumes to rival Disneyworld? The sense of history has been carried well by a Female leader who has had to learn more and more to adapt to the world around her.
She has made mistakes – or been advised badly at times – but she’s always risen above the problems and modernised the royal family to fit today’s society. This in tandem with maintaining the history and tradition has made her a great monarch. For all of us it will be a strange day when she is no longer there.
So congratulation your majesty. Many more happy and healthy years may you reign over us.