Jubilee celebrations to allay royal anxiety

The monarchy: After 50 years of Queen Elizabeth II's reign, her loyal ? and not so loyal ? subjects prepare to enjoy the party
Click to follow
The Independent Online

It had been expected to put another dent in the monarchy's increasingly battered reputation. A grand Golden Jubilee celebration that few turned up to, embarrassing the Queen and supplying further proof of her irrelevance to modern Britain.

It had been expected to put another dent in the monarchy's increasingly battered reputation. A grand Golden Jubilee celebration that few turned up to, embarrassing the Queen and supplying further proof of her irrelevance to modern Britain.

But next weekend hundreds of thousands of people will attend dances, fayres, street parties and raves to mark Queen Elizabeth's 50 years on the throne – and show there is life in the "old firm" yet.

Although the streets of Britain will be nowhere near as bedecked in Union Jacks as they were 25 years ago for her Silver Jubilee, they will not be as empty as pundits predicted earlier this year.

In fact the Jubilee weekend is set to be a great success, mainly because the planned celebrations have adapted to social changes. The hundreds of events scheduled include a Battle of the DJs rave in Elgin, Scotland, a Midsummer Dance in Pagham Village Hall in Bognor Regis and a Traditional Fayre, complete with ferret racing, in Blandford Forum.

Even the left-wing Labour MP Bob Cryer has been caught up in the celebratory spirit. Despite opposing the principle of the monarchy, he will be touring five street parties in his Hornchurch constituency in a 1952 Armstrong Siddeley Star Sapphire car.

"I'm certainly not a royalist," he told the Independent on Sunday, "but I represent a lot of people who went through the war and the blitz and they are some of the most enthusiastic about the celebrations. I also think the Queen had done a pretty good job over 50 years. She does her job with dignity." It is still all a far cry from 1977 when more than 5,000 street parties took place in London alone. This year in London only 320 events are listed for the entire year, but they are large public celebrations such as the Golden Jubilee Fun Day in Roundwood Park, Harlesden. And Jubilee organisers say hundreds of smaller events will be taking place that haven't been officially registered.

The Queen will spend the rest of the week in Scotland before returning to Buckingham Palace on Saturday.

Comments