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DIANE KNOX: I felt very disconnected from the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations

By Diane Knox

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Dingwall Jubilee street party....Picture: Callum Mackay..
Dingwall Jubilee street party....Picture: Callum Mackay..

Last weekend’s festivities were lovely-jubilee…once I eventually found them!

I felt very disconnected from the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, marking her 70 years on the throne. To be honest, I had no idea it was coming up until I saw mentions of the holiday weekend on friends’ social media, combined with lots of union jacks, street parties and corgis!

But I tuned in over the weekend to get a taste of British pride and royal celebration.

If I were to mention the jubilee to any of my American friends, would they know it was happening? I’d hazard a guess at “no” - it was hardly talked about on this side of the pond until it was actually taking place.

I don’t want to sound as though I’m generalizing the population of this entire country, but it was the drama surrounding the jubilee that grabbed the headlines - Harry and Meghan’s arrival overshadowing the Queen, and Prince Andrew testing positive for COVID amid his recent scandals. And then came the “cute” news stories - Prince Louis pulling faces at Kate, the Queen having tea with Paddington Bear and, of course, her beloved corgis.

Diane Knox.
Diane Knox.

I had to search online to find coverage of the concert and really enjoyed watching the Royals belt out “Sweet Caroline”. Prince William is only a year older than me, so in a funny way I feel like we’ve grown up together. And following along with Kate’s outfits is always appealing.

Americans quite often ask me about the Royal Family; some will say “Ooh I wish we had a Queen” and “Meghan Markle married your Prince!”, however, in my circles, the majority of people couldn’t care less. If anything, they feel the notion of the Royal Family is extremely outdated and a little too hierarchical. Dare I say a lot of my Scottish friends feel the same, especially when the country is in a state of severe inflation, people are struggling to feed their families and ol’ Queenie is riding around in a carriage made of gold.

I am a fan of the grandeur surrounding the Royals, and I am fascinated by the inner workings of this incredibly privileged bloodline (and those who marry into it). The Queen and her family are an attraction to the UK, and the reason why so many tourists from all over the world visit London to marvel at their prestige. Every time I would visit London, I would put Buckingham Palace on my itinerary to have a look at this iconic building. Their lives are bizarrely fascinating to me.

However, I’m not one of these people who have Queen Elizabeth II’s face emblazoned on my tiny tea cups or display a union jack in a show of solidarity. If there’s any flag going up in my house, it will be a saltire!

I do like the Queen, and in a way I feel very proud of her for the way she has ruled her commonwealth for such a long period of time - with dignity, with grace, with an underlying wit and a real display of poise. At 96 years old, she is very much the figurehead of a nation and should be celebrated while we still have her.

Click here to read more from Diane Knox.

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