Days-long bash to celebrate queen’s 70-year reign

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The jubilee is an opportunity for the royals to demonstrate their commitment to change and diversity, something the queen has embodied as she traveled the world over the last 70 years, said Emily Nash, royal editor of HELLO! magazine…reports Asian Lite News

Britain is getting ready for a party featuring mounted troops, solemn prayers — and a pack of dancing mechanical corgis.

The nation will celebrate Queen Elizabeth II’s 70 years on the throne this week with four days of pomp and pageantry in central London. But behind the brass bands, street parties and a planned appearance by the aging queen on the balcony of Buckingham Palace lies a drive to show that the royal family still remains relevant after seven decades of change.

“The monarchy is not elected, so the only way in which a monarch can demonstrate consent is not through the ballot box, but through people turning out on the streets,” said Robert Lacey, the historical adviser on “The Crown″ series. “And if the monarch turns up on the balcony and waves and there’s no one there, that’s a pretty definitive judgment on the monarchy.

“Well, when it comes to Elizabeth, the opposite has been the case. People can’t wait to mass and cheer together,” he added.

And the royals, sometimes criticized as out of touch with modern Britain, want to show that their support comes from all parts of a society that has become more multicultural amid immigration from the Caribbean, South Asia and Eastern Europe.

As part of the jubilee pageant, dancers from London’s African-Caribbean community will don costumes of giant flamingos, zebras and giraffes to re-imagine the moment in 1952 when Princess Elizabeth learned she had become queen while visiting a game park in Kenya. Another group will recall the queen’s 1947 marriage to Prince Philip and celebrate weddings around the Commonwealth with Bollywood-style dancing.

The jubilee is an opportunity for the royals to demonstrate their commitment to change and diversity, something the queen has embodied as she traveled the world over the last 70 years, said Emily Nash, royal editor of HELLO! magazine.

“She’s been everywhere and she has engaged with people from all walks of life, from all creeds and colors and faiths,” Nash said. “I think it’s easy to see, in the sort of pomp and pageantry, perhaps more of a lack of diversity. But if you look at what the royal family actually do, the people they engage with, the places they go to, I think it’s perhaps a little unfair to say that it’s not as diverse as it could be.”

If the depleted stock at the Cool Britannia gift shop is any indication, the jubilee has caught public attention. The shop around the corner from Buckingham Palace has run out of Platinum Jubilee tea towels. Spoons are sparse. Mugs are in short supply.

And it’s not just foreign tourists who are buying all things Elizabeth. Visitors from around the U.K. are also hunting for jubilee mementos, said Ismayil Ibrahim, the man behind the counter.

“It’s a very special year,” he said. “They’re celebrating it as a big event.”

The question for the House of Windsor is whether the public will transfer their love for the queen to her son and heir, Prince Charles, when the time comes.

It is a problem that stems, in part, from the queen’s unprecedented reign, the longest in British history. The only monarch most people have ever known, she has become synonymous with the monarchy itself.

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