The Queen and I wouldn’t get along. To begin with, I’m Welsh. And I don’t like corgis. And I like my tea in a mug. But if she did invite me over to the palace for High Tea, I’d go. Although I’m sure the conversation would go something like this:
Queen: Would you care for sugar?
Me: Yes, especially in my bowl.
Duke of Edinburgh: I believe that’s a Nina Simone song.
Queen: Shut up Philip.
Queen: Your lovely wife says you write.
Queen: Have I read anything by you?
Me: Don’t think so.
Duke of Edinburgh: Is it tawdry? Is is raunchy?
Queen: Philip, do shut up, there’s a good boy.
Queen: Please don’t slurp from the saucer.
Corgi (peeing on my polished brothel creepers): Stupid git!
Queen: I hope that was one of my dogs and not Philip. I do apologize.
Me: Oh, it’s ok, I can’t afford another pair, but the tea was nice.
Duke of Edinburgh: Here’s a tenner. Get yourself some lovely new brogues.
Queen: Thank you for visiting.
Queen: We shall never do this again. Unless you get knighted, which is about as possible as Philip getting a royal stiffy. Goodbye.
So, another Jubilee descends on Britain like a plague of locust on a desperate crop of people. Why must my fellow countrymen and women drag out the Old Lady and jolt her back to life? It’s amazing what a bit of bringing the dead to life can do for a nation. A cadaver has never had it so lucky. Though I’ve seen more attractive ones.
And the tourists, a handful of Brits, and the One Million Moms (who are probably five guys and a stray ostrich) will grin themselves to death. And flags will wave like the dead applause of a Greek Chorus with debt issues. And the ostentatious ritual will fill the chasm of life not with gold and diamonds, but chalk and cheese.
And why are Americans so enamored with the fusty and antediluvian Corgi? How easily they forget their Pilgrim forebears, their revolution for a Republic free of the madness of king and country. Makes you wonder if the wrong ones got on the boat.
Oh, the spectacle. For a nations’ eyes only, we get bunting and bulldog and beef, while all the time we’re having our jewels swapped for fake precious memories and a handful of memorabilia that gathers dust on mantlepieces. If this is patriotism, I’d rather die for a real emotion, a real feeling, than live as the bastard native son gone native in America.
Why do the rich, the powerful, never have any taste but fluted champagne glasses full of ostentatious crap?
What makes me shocked and ashamed if I was ever to discover that I’m actually the eighteenth pale descendent of some old queen or other, is that this blatant celebration is all in honour of an emasculated monarchy. The pomp and glamour is just an empty thing, a sham, since there’s no substance, because the Queen has no real power in any sense, besides granting holidays and drawing hordes of tourists. She wields nothing but sentimentality and nostalgia through the eons-old plumbing of tradition that’s in a desperate need of a flush.
The Queen is just some fake porcelain doll given a throne of power simply because way back in the mists of time when men were brutal and women made babies, her brutish relative clobbered some other wannabe on the head, stole his wife, dog, steak and kidney pie, and jewels, and set up a castle and moat and proclaimed himself lord, which fell on deaf ears. And so he went out and killed and stole even more. Oh, and threw a few lavish parades of pomp and pageantry, which really gets the attention of the peasants, especially since they will never ever get a sniff at this kind of life.
I wonder why I don’t see the need to celebrate that kind of history, which the Queen represents, even though Dear Old Liz II is a truckload of genetic material away from that, but she still got dumped with it.
I’d rather have a nation that celebrates and has pomp and spectacle and glamour for literary rogues and swashbuckling anti-heroes. God, imagine a Jubilee to celebrate Oscar Wilde or Dylan Thomas or Angela Carter or Mervyn Peake? Now that would be a celebration of flamboyance and excess and spectacle and splendor.
Wait, I celebrate this every day when I sit down to write.