With the Diamond Jubilee now nothing but a hazy memory, our minds softly dimmed by a constant flow of Pimms and lemonade, the country can now dare to look back at ‘Rule Britannia’s attempt to celebrate the 60 year reign of the Queen of England.
The hype and hysteria brought about by the jubilee was at the forefront of all of Britain’s minds, mostly because their local supermarkets were jam packed with their usual goodies, this time plastered with the red, white and blue of our nation’s flag. It is true that the Diamond Jubilee seemed to be the greatest advertising ploy of all time, us Brits tearing through supermarkets in droves, all wanting to get our hands on a jar of marmite or a packet of biscuits. What changed? Marmite has been around for decades, biscuits will always be biscuits, and surely the existence of a union jack on a product suddenly doesn’t deem it priceless. Is our country secretly ridiculously patriotic? Or are we just a nation of consumers, who love an excuse to buy half a dozen bottles of Gin at any reasonable excuse.
It isn’t an overstatement to say that a country renowned for being unadventurous and conventional became all about the party spirit, street gatherings and parades were suddenly common practise (although I never actually saw one) hey we even crowned ex boy band lad Gary Barlow, ‘King of the Universe’ for putting on a £10million karaoke show. As the jubilee came to a climax however, and as the last vol-au-vent was eaten, our country sat back, stuffed and satisfied after our bank holiday, and witnessed the crescendo to our anticipated spectacular. I am of course, talking about the heavily built up flotilla. There was something pitiful about watching an underwhelming cast of miss matched boats, reminiscent of Dunkirk with a dingy filter of English weather, but it was at this anti-climax that reality took hold of our once proud nation, hammering home the so called importance of the jubilee. Maybe us Brits need an excuse to party, we moan when it rains, and we have a hosepipe ban when it doesn’t, what harm is there in celebrating the sovereignty of our lovely little Queen?
But now it has all finally died down, when we look around our villages and even if we stare along the infinite aisles at our nearest Tesco, the union jack clad produce is sitting there still, mournfully staring at the bargain bin. The once proud bunting now hangs, forlorn and bedraggled, like unwanted socks slung over a banister, and it is at this that the question now stands… Are we the patriotic, celebratory nation we were made out to be for a fortnight? Has the jubilee suddenly made us a proud, festive and jovial population, or was slapping the union jack on everything just an easy way to make napkins seem more appealing?