You would be forgiven in thinking you were watching a movie, of the emperor offering the Romans, games and sacrifices in the Colosseum. The grateful
slaves subjects delighting in Elizabeth’s presence and all the pomp that went with the celebrations.
I watched bemused as my fellow country women and men, despite it bucketing down with rain, lost themselves in revelry and it struck me why otherwise reserved Brits, not prone to bellowing their British patriotism and banging their chest with pride in their country, went gaga over the commemoration of Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee.
British patriotism is usually quite subtle, we don’t have any specific British holidays. We share worldwide judeo Christian holidays like Christmas and Easter. Our Mayday and summer bank holiday although British, are not unique. Unlike very American holidays such as 4th of July, Labor Day, Thanksgiving and even Memorial day to an extent, we have nothing to call our own. We don’t fly the Union Jack often enough, and the red n white is widely considered property of racist far right groups.
I think it’s time to give Britain, it’s own day but NOT St. Georges. As much as many would like St Georges day, l get the feeling people struggle with the concept of it as a national holiday. Anything but this absurd celebration over the longevity of a monarch who means nothing to me, and other like minded people in this country. We need the infectious happiness, ease and feeling of community that long weekend between the 2nd and 5th of June brought. It was so heart warming to see, besides, I loved the extra holiday.
Many of Elizabeth’s subjects will tell you they don’t need a special day to celebrate their country, but secretly they wish they did. They mock Americans calling them over patriotic and consider the flying and waving of flags vulgar, but I think deep down they only wish they could display the same pride.
Brits play down everything, I mean we are talking of a nation that has perfected the art of self-deprecation, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that even the most ardent anti-monarchists, secretly crave a piece of the royals. Rarely do they turn down royal awards, and are the first to bow and scrape once in the presence of royalty to collect their OBE’s, CBE’s, Knighthoods or Dameships.
Who can forget uber republican; Vanessa Redgrave’s cringe worthy performance, as she accepted a BAFTA award in 2010. Her servitude shone as she babbled incoherently and got so far down on her knees, that a clearly embarrassed William had to help her back up.
The notion of a monarchy is something I abhor. For me it’s a reminder of Britain’s colonial imperialistic past and so much about a society that shouldn’t exist today. It is also the reason why despite being born in this country, I will never consider myself English nor do I feel English. But it’s not all England’s fault, I’ve bounced around so much of my life, that I don’t have any real allegiance to any one country and this is why:
My mother is from the Caribbean, my father from West Africa. I was born in Highgate, but was taken to Africa at 18 months, after my father graduated (he was on a scholarship from his country). When the Biafran war broke out my dad sent my mum and us kids to London, where my mums family lived. Two years later we where back in Nigeria, only to return to London just 3 years later, for my dad to take up a position as a military attaché. Four years later we returned to Lagos. Fours years after our return and dads stint at the the embassy, my parents separated and my mother brought us back to London. Nine years later I took off to New York and remained in North America for 18 years..
I Don’t want to celebrate the matriarch of the most famous dysfunctional family in the world. So dysfunctional, they make The Kardarshian’s look normal. Celebrate a family that will suck the life out of a free spirit? Say what you want to say about Fergie, she didn’t deserve what she got from Elizabeth and her family. Liz and her eldest son did further damage to an already vulnerable Diana, who suffered from various psychosis. How much do you have to be pushed mentally, before you start throwing yourself down the stairs of Kensington Palace?
Imagine how damaged you’d be if you had to grow up shaking your parents hands instead of hugging them. It’s perverse but that’s how Elizabeth and Philip raised Charles, Ann, Andrew and Edward.
How can I feel any endearment towards her, when I don’t even know what she thinks. Won’t you love to see Elizabeth have a good old rant about something? Maybe touch people, hug ‘em, be more human and warm? …. it’s unnatural to be that rigid.
Oh and before anyone says anything about the irony of assuming a nom de plume such as the Duchess of Hackney, it isn’t lost on me, but I assure you I did not gravitate to it because of any lofty royal hankerings. It’s a long sordid story involving Tequila and someone teasing me about something I said. A commoner from Leytonstone bestowed the title on me.
Most of all, I want to celebrate the land of my birth not a goddam family with a different skin colour from mine. Despite my rants, I’m reminded daily of the freedom I enjoy, the NHS, our stable government and because I can write what I have written without fear of my head ending up in the Tower of London and that yahoo’s like these, can demonstrate on the street Nick Clegg lives on, without being shot on the spot.
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