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Long to Reign Over Us

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?

By Troy Stevens


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2 thoughts on “Long to Reign Over Us”

  1. Geoff Kirk

    I think that this sets out the question that so many people ignore. Brits are known for their moaning, yet the jubilee showed a side to us that some of us didn’t know we had ourselves. As a whole, our nation will not let any of us forget that we are in an economic recession, usually our favourite hobby is to complain about the prices of petrol, let alone the prices of gimmick items produced merely to encourage our consumer-selves. Many people moan that ‘Valentines Day’, for example, is just a day which the shops use selfishly to make more money. So why did everyone forget these morals and decide that biscuit tins costing £10 were a necessity? Personally, I think that this proves, however cynical we are, that we can claim that we are patriotic. We can’t pass this off like the other holidays that many of us just ignore. Just by looking at this in conjunction with the Olympics and the Euros, we can see that one thing that Britain hasn’t lost is it’s loyalty to our Queen and our nation.

  2. Joe Speed

    I agree with your columnist that we are, indeed the ‘patriotic, celebratory nation’ of the article, but desperately seeking a knight worthy of our favour.
    We can rely upon the Queen to remain constant, smilingly reserved and flanked by her naughty side-kick.
    Secretly or publicly, we love the Queen. Other nations may declare their undying allegiance to their football teams, but we know better than that. As a nation that has included ‘Dunkirk spirit’ into fond, everyday parlance, we should never risk another colossal disaster at the mercy of another nation. Sunday night demonstrated the inevitability of such gloom when we allowed ourselves to place our trust in a football team, so, to avoid future disappointment and to allow us to plan parties well in advance, let’s hear it for the Queen. Sticking to this winning formula – I’m just off down to buy up more of those napkins and biscuit tins . . . .

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