The here and now and a bit of way back then

I relived my journey to 40 and found there's so much more to say

Long may she continue to do so

on September 9, 2015

I like the Queen. Queen Elizabeth the Second that is. I’m not so sure I would like the Kings and Queens of old so much who would chop off your head on a whim.

It may not be a terribly modern view to have but I’ve always felt a degree of warmth towards the Royal Family. I think because growing up in the late Seventies, early Eighties were simpler times. I distinctly remember painting pictures of the Queen and Buckingham Palace in Infant School. A couple of years later this was followed by the huge occasions that were the Royal weddings of Charles and Diana and Andrew and Fergie. By the time these Royal weddings were going through Royal divorces and all the scandals that went with it, I was in my early twenties and busy being a Student to feel properly shocked or let down by them. Well actually I was rather disturbed at seeing the photos of Fergie having her toes sucked splashed across the Daily Mirror. Disgusting.

There have been periods of time where I have felt indifferent about the Royal Family. After all it’s not like they have any direct impact on our daily lives. They just happen to be there. Living off our taxes as many believe. What’s the point of them some people say. Why do we need a Royal Family. What purpose do they serve. How much revenue do they bring in from tourism anyways. Let’s get rid of them. We don’t need them. And all sorts of other negative feeling that I find unnecessary.

Having lived away from the UK for nearly seven years, in a Republic city state presided over by an elected President to be rolled out for ceremonial purposes, I would much rather have an inherited monarchy in place. It can be annoying enough having to put up with an elected Prime Minister you didn’t want, let alone an elected President to represent you. At least with the Monarchy it’s just their unknown fortune to be born into that role. Both a blessing and a curse wouldn’t you say and certainly not one most of us would want. Consider the scrutiny of your every move, the lack of true freedom to do what you would like, to voice opinions that are truly your own. Forever the diplomat and allowing everyone else to have an opinion about you and your worth. Who would want a life like that?

I feel great respect for the Queen, I admire her consistency and sense of duty. And whilst you may not think rolling up and smiling and being presented with flowers is much of a job or hardship, consider that today at the age of 89 she’s still getting up, having her hair done and putting on makeup, to get out of the door, be on her feet and smile nicely for everyone. There is no way I would want to be doing that in 48 years time or have had to do so for the last 63 years and 216 days. Or have had to sit through weekly meetings with Prime Ministers you may secretly think is a total idiot. It’s such a weird job really when you think about it.

Duty and obligation seems to have fallen out of favour in modern times. But I believe it demonstrates commitment and the desire to see something through that can be seriously lacking. We don’t give things as much of a chance as before. Everything is so fast moving and disposable from things we buy to relationships and opinions. But I like consistency and I like how the Queen and her successors are one constant factor that is quite soothing when so many things are uncertain. I think the Queen’s ability to evolve the monarchy and pull it back from the brink of really low public opinion following the death of Diana is a sign of good leadership. How many world leaders refuse to listen to what the people are saying. How many CEOs of any organisation listen to what their staff are saying for that matter.

Celebrities who seek out fame and infamy do so out of choice. But when it’s been put upon you just by chance, I feel we should have more empathy towards people who have to live their lives in the public eye. They will inevitably make mistakes like we all do. Consider the sort of stuff the world media doesn’t know about you. And what I really want to see is less of this desire of wanting to see people slip up, be they royal or not. It’s unattractive and it’s unhelpful. I want to see more happy going on in the world and the Queen with her safe colour block outfits, hats and gloves provides that for me.

I think the Queen does a great job and I hope she gets to put up her feet with a nice up of tea whilst listening to Prince Phillip say something wildly inappropriate and consider it another day well done.

Change in colour: The red 1st class stamp has been turned purple


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