Yesterday, February 5, 2012, the Queen and some members of the British Royal family were cheered on by well wishers as they attended Sunday church service on the Sandringham estate. In truth the crowds were smaller than perhaps was anticipated but severe weather had took its toll. Of course it was not extreme weather in the great scheme of things but enough snow for the usual mayhem that follows such events in the UK to occur. In many ways yesterday was the start, proper, of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.
60 years ago today young Elizabeth
heard the sad news of her father's death back home in the UK. She and her husband of four years, Prince Philip, were on vacation in Kenya. When the news was telephoned through to the royal party it was some time before the Queen was actually informed. A code used to inform the party was misunderstood causing some delay. In the end Philip broke the news to his wife.
For the Queen this year will be a time for celebration but tinged with the sadness of that day. By and large her reign has been successful and she has weathered the changing times and life's trials and tribulations quite well. The lowest point for the popularity of the monarchy probably came with the divorce of Charles and Diana, revelations about his long standing affair with his now wife Camilla and the death of Diana. Many people still believe that Diana died as some part of a royal conspiracy.
Prime Minister Tony Blair in many ways "saved" the royals during this time. Out of step with many Republican Labour politicians he saw the worth and value of the crown. He admired the Queen and did all he could to offer support and guidance during this time. He has since been snubbed on more than one occasion by the same family. He was noticeable by his absence at the wedding of William and Kate yet other past Prime Ministers were all too evident.
This blogger may tend toward the Republican view, even with age, but many people around the world will enjoy the splendour of the 2012 Diamond Jubilee Celebrations
. The celebrations will be held early in June. Before then though there will be various events
up and down the country for those so inclined to enjoy.
The Queen has been on throne all through this blogger's lifetime. Memories drift back to the mid 1950s and a visit to our city by the Queen. With an ardent Royalist Mother of course we were taken to see the Queen. In reality all we had was a glimpse of a smiling young woman waving as the black limo sailed past. It was enough though for Mum and the others who had turned out in force. The effort of dressing the children in Sunday best, with the girls resplendent with red, white and blue ribbons, in their hair was rewarded by that wave and smile. The weather was kind but, had it not been, nothing would have stopped us attending.
Time's have certainly changed but the Queen in so many ways has remained steadfast for 60 years. 60 Glorious years? Yes, I guess so.