Friday 3 June 2022

The Platinum Jubilee in perspective

A platinum jubilee to all

The Queen, Elizabeth II represents an epoch-making example of duty, service, responsibility, and fortitude as we celebrate with her the platinum jubilee of her assession to the throne. Usually, we celebrate 70 years of age, maybe even 70 years of marriage to some, but 70 years in office is a uniquely different thing that it might never be experienced in many lifetimes and generations to come.

When His Royal Highness, The Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh, the Queen’s consort passed on at 99 last April, one could only celebrate his public service and more particularly, his steadfast support of his wife for 73 years. They were only in their fourth year of marriage when she took on the role of monarch, at which point their devotion to each other was supplanted to their devotion to duty.

Blog: In the life of HRH, The Duke of Edinburgh

Longevity in our humanity

At 96, The Queen exudes the frailties of our humanity that comes with old age, much as she has promised to serve, she has had to hand over many tasks and duties to members of the royal family to represent her. This morning, she could not attend the national service in commemoration of her reign at St. Paul’s Cathedral, she was represented instead by the heir apparent, Charles, Prince of Wales accompanied by his spouse, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall.

I appreciate monarchism especially in the United Kingdom as it gives us a kind of leadership that is essentially above the political fray, she has appointed 14 Prime Ministers during her reign, and whilst there could have been cases for republicanism that gives the leadership of a nation to popularly elected person, the kind of person that gets elected might not imbue the standards and qualities of leadership necessary for the role.

The less said of the current Prime Minister on principles, integrity, service, or responsibility, the better for all, and probably that alone represents why we need a monarchy. My only concern is that the monarchy is appearing to be political neutral might well be politically negligent, for I still suggest that when the Her Majesty’s Government was found to have acted unlawfully and by inference had lied to the Queen on the matter of the prorogation of the Parliament in 2019, the government that could not be trusted to act with candour and honesty should have been asked to resign.

The Second Elizabethan Age

That might well be the only blemish on this amazingly distinguished and extraordinary reign of Elizabeth II. I have no arrangements to join in any revelry, there would probably be a service at the cathedral to celebrate and pray for the Queen. Even as we sing ‘long to reign over us’ as part of our national anthem, we know we are coming to the end of an era.

History would characterise this as the Second Elizabethan age that represented the second half of the twentieth century and probably the first quarter of the twenty-first century. That we are so different from the royal houses of mainland Europe is instructive as abdications are typically the norm there as has happened in, The Netherlands and Belgium in 2013, and Spain in 2014. The year of three kings of 1936 (this was the fourth occurrence of 3 kings in a year, the last being in 1553 [Wikipedia]) remains a recently sad and forgettable history for our monarchy, the pall of which hangs over this monarch as a childhood witness of that change.

I can only wish the Queen more strength, good health and the soundness of mind that allows her to continue in her role for as long as she can. My hearty congratulations to her and God save the Queen.

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