Viv Groskop: Anti-royalists admit it. We are doomed

I'm caught between a rock cake with a Union Jack cocktail stick in it and a hard place

Related Topics

When Buckingham Palace announced earlier this year that the Queen would be "travelling as widely as possible", I did not think she would travel so widely as to encounter a member of my own family. In this life, many are called. Few are chosen. So when Will, my eight-year-old son, was offered the chance to see the Queen – or, as he insists on calling her in hushed tones and with zero irony, Her Royal Highness – he didn't have to think twice.

On Tuesday, he gathered with his cub troupe (pack? group? military division?) in Richmond Park with a posse of CRB-checked adults who had very generously given their time to put on a show for the Queen and Prince Philip.

The Royal party had apparently specifically requested that their route be lined with "young people in uniform". Yes, the email from the scoutmaster did raise a shudder. But, to be fair, the monarch is patron of the Scout Association. And the uniform consists of a funked-up T-shirt and baseball cap. And they're not armed. Or, at least, they're only armed with emergency wet weather gear and boxes of raisins for sustenance. ("NO NUTS, PLEASE.")

Despite all this, as my son beamed a proud smile and came home talking about how he was "this far away from her – and she was wearing a white dress, she always wears a white dress...", his lily-livered, Republican Lite mother, a two-for-one Prosecco liberal if ever there was one, quivered slightly and frowned.

This is becoming a familiar, sickening feeling this year in the run-up to the Jubilee and the Olympics: being caught between a rock cake with a Union Jack cocktail stick in it and a hard place. There's the pull of the iconography, the joy of the flag-waving and, hopefully, the sense of relief that, hooray, finally we can be proud of something.

But then there's also the sense that it so easily morphs into hysterical conservatism, jingoism instead of patriotism, and before we know it people are making calls for the introduction of military service. Cubs I don't mind. That much. But the real thing? No, thanks.

As June approaches, the sight of all the adorable red, white and blue sprinkles on cupcakes in every supermarket in the land floods me with self-loathing. I know I'll eat them, I know I'll cheer, I know I'll wave my hankie with the best of them. Because if you are going to poop a party, then this year you are really pooping a big one.

Anti-royalists, admit it now. We are doomed. UK Plc is a heartbeat away from dabbing at its collective moist eyes whilst murmuring – as Cameron did during last summer's riots – of "the country's moral collapse". God save the Queen. But heaven help us all. Now pass the sodding bunting.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Accountant

£35000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A specialist two partner firm o...

Recruitment Genius: HGV Drivers - Class 1 and 2 - Excellent Pay and Benefits

£16000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Class 1 and 2 HGV Drivers are r...

Recruitment Genius: IT Support Technician

£24000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An IT Support Technician is req...

Recruitment Genius: Media Sales Account Managers - Radio

£16000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Cheshire's number 1 commercial ...

Day In a Page

Read Next

i Editor's Letter: The five reasons why I vote

Oliver Duff Oliver Duff

Daily catch-up: the gap between rich and poor has narrowed (a little) since the banking crisis

John Rentoul
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable
Living with Alzheimer's: What is it really like to be diagnosed with early-onset dementia?

What is it like to live with Alzheimer's?

Depicting early-onset Alzheimer's, the film 'Still Alice' had a profound effect on Joy Watson, who lives with the illness. She tells Kate Hilpern how she's coped with the diagnosis
The Internet of Things: Meet the British salesman who gave real-world items a virtual life

Setting in motion the Internet of Things

British salesman Kevin Ashton gave real-world items a virtual life
Election 2015: Latest polling reveals Tories and Labour on course to win the same number of seats - with the SNP holding the balance of power

Election 2015: A dead heat between Mr Bean and Dick Dastardly!

Lord Ashcroft reveals latest polling – and which character voters associate with each leader
Audiences queue up for 'true stories told live' as cult competition The Moth goes global

Cult competition The Moth goes global

The non-profit 'slam storytelling' competition was founded in 1997 by the novelist George Dawes Green and has seen Malcolm Gladwell, Salman Rushdie and Molly Ringwald all take their turn at the mic
Pakistani women come out fighting: A hard-hitting play focuses on female Muslim boxers

Pakistani women come out fighting

Hard-hitting new play 'No Guts, No Heart, No Glory' focuses on female Muslim boxers
Leonora Carrington transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star

Surreal deal: Leonora Carrington

The artist transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star
LGBT History Month: Pupils discuss topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage

Education: LGBT History Month

Pupils have been discussing topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage
11 best gel eyeliners

Go bold this season: 11 best gel eyeliners

Use an ink pot eyeliner to go bold on the eyes with this season's feline flicked winged liner
Cricket World Cup 2015: Tournament runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

Cricket World Cup runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

The tournament has reached its halfway mark and scores of 300 and amazing catches abound. One thing never changes, though – everyone loves beating England
Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Heptathlete ready to jump at first major title

Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Ready to jump at first major title

After her 2014 was ruined by injury, 21-year-old Briton is leading pentathlete going into this week’s European Indoors. Now she intends to turn form into gold
Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot