Liz has served our country for all of these sixty years with no hesitation and no word of “I’m tired, I think I’ll retire to Spain now”. While sat on her throne, and not the flushable porcelain variety, she has witnessed significant changes in technology and science, politics and in the world itself. Not to mention the rise and fall of many reality ‘celebrities’ – most of which I’m sure she wishes she never had to meet at yet another Variety Performance; a feeling I’m sure we all appreciate. Throughout all of the change she has remained the one constant in a life of blur. Always there, in a hat and with a smile, Lizzie (I might be taking liberties with the name now...) has reassured and calmed the population of the British Isles that all will work out eventually. After all, she helped and guided us through the Tony Blair years. If there’s anything to sway you into loving her it should be that.
The Royal Family has seen a huge popularity increase over the years and more and more members of our generation are starting to appreciate the Queen as a person and as a monarch. As rulers go, she has been pretty awesome. She hasn’t, unlike her ancestors been over-zealous with her beheading, she hasn’t decided to run off with a divorcee (Prince Charles had that covered) nor has she caused a civil war. Life with our old Queenie has been indisputably relaxed, peaceful, and well – classy. Not unlike the Queen herself. When addressing crowds, accepting flowers from children and giving us our annual Christmas greeting, she emulates a loving ‘Grandmother’ quality which makes even the most sceptical republicans want to welcome her into their home. But of course we can’t – and that reserved, untouchable barrier between monarch and we mere commoners only serves to emphasise her brilliancy as a ruler. Who wants to spot a British Queen pushing a trolley around her local supermarket? Sure, we love to see Kate being the perfect newly-wed housewife, but from the Queen we expect tradition and we do not expect her to be squeezing melons in Waitrose. Her recognition of what makes a British Queen pushes forward patriotism and encourages us to love our country.
Liz is 86 years old. And yet she is completely in touch with Britain in the 21st-Century and knows what we, as a younger and future generation need, want and how we work. She has, reportedly, embraced social networking, she owns a mobile and she meets, speaks to and smiles at hundreds of people a week. Also if what we hear on the television is to be believed our Queen can knock back a few alcoholic beverages too, even donning the dance floor of a top London night-club at the age of seventy. It was a private party and her fellow revellers were all pensioners too, but you’ve got to appreciate her get-up-and-go. The truth of the matter is, ol’ Liz is not as out-of-touch as you may believe. For a woman who has a grand total of fifty-four countries under her belt, she has no other choice than to constantly reinvent herself, the face of the monarchy and the Commonwealth as a whole. With Prince Philip by her side (probably whispering some wise-crack in her ear) she has travelled around the world countless times, acting as the perfect ambassador for us British. And we get to reap the rewards. The world suddenly becomes a lot smaller – countries are welcoming to backpackers and their different and exciting cultures begin to emerge within our own little island. We are able to enjoy Indian food, African literature and holidays in Barbados. Why? Because of our Queen of course.The Queen is quintessentially British. She is basically the only thing the American’s envy about us. Our economy is down the drain, Scotland wants independence and our weather is terrible but darn it - we have the Queen. She is everywhere in our lives: in our purses, on our letters and thanks to good old Gary Barlow, on our radios.
It’s time to embrace her, to love her and to be proud of her. And this weekend I will definitely be singing, probably out of tune, ‘God Save the Queen’.