Yesterday marked the actual Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II, who acceded to the throne following the death of her father George VI on 6th February 1952. She was in Kenya at the time of the King’s passing and for my generation she is the only monarch we have ever known.
Opinions will vary on the role or “value” of the modern Royal Family; for me the Queen is our figurehead, someone who has both ruled and served her kingdom with unwavering loyalty, grace and austerity and she is a symbol of so much that is good about Great Britain and those Commonwealth countries over which she remains the sovereign.
In fairness, I think the essence of “royalty” has somewhat skipped a generation because I have little time for the Queen’s three sons... it
speaks volumes that Diana, Princess of Wales was overwhelmingly more “loved” or popular”... more “royal”even, than those of direct descent...
However, I believe that Diana’s legacy will be that her own children will remove any negative anachronistic aspect of the monarchy; personally, when the time comes, I would actually prefer to see Prince Charles decline the throne(although he won’t because being King was what he was born to “do”) because I feel that William and Catherine (along with Prince Harry) are the key to maintaining (and probably increasing) the popularity of the Royal Family and ensuring a viable future further into the twenty-first century.
As I’m sure you are aware, Queen Elizabeth II’s reign is the second-longest of all British monarchs behind Queen Victoria (1837-1901), however she has quite some way to go to overtake the 82 years during which Sobhuza II was Paramount Chief and King of Swaziland (1899 and 1982)... In fact, our Queen is not actually the longest current reigning monarch; that accolade goes to King Rama IX of Thailand, who has been on his country’s throne for over 65 years.
I was going to end the blog by mentioning Rama’s brothers Lama and Ding-Dong... but luckily I thought better of it...
All my own work... almost.