Tuesday, June 5, 2012

National Pride

Everywhere you look all you can see is red, white and blue. The Union Jack flies from cars and buildings, it adorns coffee mugs, cushion covers and even the packaging on half my shopping from the supermarket.

The darkest furthest reaches of this globe know it's not all left over from Englebert's dismal showing in Azerbaijan, but is of course to celebrate the Queen's Golden Jubilee. Sixty years as monarch, even typing it now it amazes me.

Nineteen years before i was born, a young lady and relatively new mother about the same age as my young wife is now started the rest of her life as the Queen of Great Britain. And she still looks in great health today, well into her eightees!

At a time when money and jobs are short in supply for many of us, the royal family have given the nation something to unite us all and give us a great big dose of pride and joy.
This is not a political blog and never will be, a minority hoped to spoil events on Sunday but aren't worth any more of a mention, but i like most Britain's love the pomp and ceremony of the Royal family. Could you imagine David Cameron, or even worse Tony Blair as president? I shudder to think.
So i get behind my country whether it's Eurovision, a football tournament or, even in the days of old, It's A Knockout! I'm British and bloody proud of it, it's Great.

I had thought about finding a spot by the river on Sunday for the river pageant but even on the motorbike it would have been a challenge timewise after church that morning so opted to watch the whole affair on TV.
Auntie Beeb failed to let me down. Well except for placing Fearne Cotton on the team that is.

The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh impressed us all by standing for the entire time on the royal barge. As a spectacle it was stunning, the sight of all those boats will become iconic, years ago paintings would have been inspired, today photographs.

You had to feel for the poor choir who had no cover on the roof of the barge carrying The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra as they got a drenching singing Land of Hope and Glory to Her Majesty on the river. Bless them, their smiles never faltered! Neither did those of the many lining the route who endured some awful weather that fortunately cleared up for Monday's concert.
The Sailor's Hornpipe got the Royal's jigging and was a real highlight, as was the ever beautiful Duchess of Cambridge, who almost upstaged The Queen, in her red number.

Last night we had the Jubilee concert outside Buckingham Palace which was organised by Gary Barlow. Unfortunately Prince Philip was missing, as he would be for the rest of the weekends events, due to illness which put a small dampener on affairs.
Some of the worlds biggest names in music and comedy entertained and hosted this extravaganza. Some of which did their best to improve their knighthood chances! Lenny Henry possibly didn't, alongside Stevie Wonder who thought it was the Queens birthday!

Robbie Williams did a fantastic job of opening events, Grace Jones was as 'out there' as ever, Madness performed on the roof and Kylie was just Kylie which is enough in itself.
Sir Paul McCartney, Sir Elton John, Tom Jones, Sir Cliff Richard (?) the biggest names all there playing to an audience of millions. Not really my kind of music but once again a fitting spectacle rounded off wonderfully by The Prince of Wales whose witty speech echoed the blessings of us all.
I could listen to him call The Queen 'mummy' all day long and still lovingly smile!

The palace proved to be a wonderful backdrop for a firework display that fitted another rendition of Land of Hope and Glory a treat. This was tear in the eye stuff, not to mention that I've been up and down like a yo-yo for the national anthem this weekend as well!

And so today a special commemorative service at St Paul's started a day that witnessed a carraige procession down The Mall and finished with a fly past from a Lancaster, Spitfires and the Red Arrows over the Palace to a still smiling Queen. This is where The Duke of Edinburgh's absence was sadly noticeable.

We've had a long weekend and I've spent much of it glued to the television so i didn't miss anything, not out of duty but because i wanted to take it all in. I really hope every British subject has watched some of the weekends proceedings, there are many in less fortunate countries who would love some of the celebration we enjoy and, unfortunately, sometimes take for granted.

National pride will, for the English amongst us at least, continue into next week as England embark on their assault on The European Championships in Poland and the Ukraine. With all the best will in the world i can't see us having as much to cheer as we have had this weekend.

Still there's always the Olympics. Don't take that bunting down just yet...........................

God save The Queen and may God bless you Ma'am!

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