Hello again! Now, no attempt at being half-witty at the start of this blog post, as today is an extremely momentous occasion for Great Britain and indeed the Commonwealth. In many respects, the whole world has been at the feet of the British Empire. We’ve been the ‘workshop of the world’ and we’ve born Enlightenment thinkers such as Smith and Hume. My home nation has some of the richest history in the entire world, spanning over 2,000 years all the way from the Romans and Celts to the post-modernist world that we live in today. Since 1066, Great Britain has had a rich monarchic heritage starting with William the Conqueror all the way to our present monarch, Queen Elizabeth II. I know all the kings and queens in order, thanks Horrible Histories for that one. But, no monarch has reigned for as long as Queen Elizabeth II, and as of 5:30pm, she will be the longest reigning monarch to have graced the country. What a feat. What a woman.
Queen Elizabeth II has seen the world go through so many changes whilst she has led the country and the commonwealth. On 6th February 1952, she became Head of the Commonwealth, and queen of seven countries such as South Africa and Ceylon (now Sri Lanka). Even that name change displays how whilst the queen has been the head of state, countries have become independent of the Commonwealth, whereas other countries and smaller nation-states rely on the beneficiaries of the United Kingdom in order to keep surviving. Whilst ruling, she has seen major constitutional changes, such as the decolonisation of Africa and Canadian independence, as well as reigning through a plethora of wars and conflicts.
The Queen has seen the birth of her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, she’s had her Silver, Golden and Diamond Jubilees. She’s consoled her grandchildren when their mother, Princess Diana tragically died in Paris. She and the whole family always face severe criticism from the press, newspapers and people discussing what the Queen’s actual role is? Anti-monarchists give the argument that her old age means she is useless. But, support for the monarchy and her popularity has skyrocketed, especially in recent years.
I have so many happy memories of the Queen’s Jubilee. I remember being in Year 2 and commemorating the Golden Jubilee by designing a picture to go on a mug, and taking it home. I’ve still got it and I haven’t drank out of it. I remember watching the floatilla to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee and feeling so proud of the monarchy and Queen Elizabeth II. We are all proud of the Queen, and we all admire her. She’s a true testament to the British rigidity, determination, but most of all being highly charismatic and fun. What other nation has had their head of state appear in a film during the Olympics Opening Ceremony with James Bond and then skydive out of a plane? You can’t help but feel pride whenever you see her on your screen. Every year, we watch the Queen’s Speech at Christmas time just to see what the Queen has to say. She always gets it just right. She has the entire Commonwealth’s weight on her shoulders, yet never buckles under pressure. A true hero. She’s an absolute queen, and she’s the nation’s sweetheart. She’s the true star of the monarchy, and we’ll never live to see another monarch reigning for as long as Queen Elizabeth II has or will continue to reign.
Now, another happy memory to fit in perfectly with a song. When I was in Year 6, I was fortunate enough to be able to sing at the Royal Albert Hall with my school choir. It was an awesome experience, and I fondly remember sitting in the front row and in the centre knowing that I had been given the opportunity to sing in such a prestigious building. All the choirs had sang their songs, and then as was tradition, the performers and audience sang Elgar’s ‘Land of Hope and Glory’ and then ‘God Save the Queen’. It made me feel insanely proud to be British. God Save the Queen, and may she reign for as many years as possible. This really is a time to be alive. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wb1t1bF8aU4