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

Share
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

Network Engineer (CCNP, CCNA, Linux, OSPF, BGP, Multicast, WAN)

£35000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Network Engineer (CCNP, CCNA, Linux, OSPF,...

Commercial Property Solicitor - Bristol

Highly Attractive Package: Austen Lloyd: A VERY HIGH QUALITY FIRM A high qual...

DevOps Engineer (Systems Administration, Linux, Shell, Bash)

£50000 per annum: Harrington Starr: DevOps Engineer (Systems Administration, L...

Data Scientist (SQL, PHP, RSPSS, CPLEX, SARS, AI) - London

£60000 - £70000 per annum: Harrington Starr: A prestigious leading professiona...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

The power of anonymity lies in the freedom it grants

Boyd Tonkin
Rebel fighters walk in front of damaged buildings in Karam al-Jabal neighbourhood of Aleppo on August 26, 2014.  

The Isis threat must be confronted with clarity and determination

Ed Miliband
Ukraine crisis: The phoney war is over as Russian troops and armour pour across the border

The phoney war is over

Russian troops and armour pour into Ukraine
Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

The world’s entire food system is under attack - and Britain is most at risk, according to a new study
Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Seoul's plastic surgery industry is booming thanks to the popularity of the K-Pop look
From Mozart to Orson Welles: Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

After the death of Sandy Wilson, 90, who wrote his only hit musical in his twenties, John Walsh wonders what it's like to peak too soon and go on to live a life more ordinary
Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Fears are mounting that Vladimir Putin has instructed hackers to target banks like JP Morgan
Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years

Salomé: A head for seduction

Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years. Now audiences can meet the Biblical femme fatale in two new stage and screen projects
From Bram Stoker to Stanley Kubrick, the British Library's latest exhibition celebrates all things Gothic

British Library celebrates all things Gothic

Forthcoming exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination will be the UK's largest ever celebration of Gothic literature
The Hard Rock Café's owners are embroiled in a bitter legal dispute - but is the restaurant chain worth fighting for?

Is the Hard Rock Café worth fighting for?

The restaurant chain's owners are currently embroiled in a bitter legal dispute
Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival

In search of Caribbean soul food

Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival
11 best face powders

11 best face powders

Sweep away shiny skin with our pick of the best pressed and loose powder bases
England vs Norway: Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Lack of Englishmen at leading Premier League clubs leaves manager hamstrung
Angel Di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

Di Maria and Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

They both inherited the iconic shirt at Old Trafford, but the £59.7m new boy is joining a club in a very different state
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone