Saturday 4 June 2022


 Well, it's Jubilee weekend (still). Things have been pretty quiet in this neck of the suburban woods, and I've been getting on with other stuff, but I gather there are events planned for tomorrow, when they should coincide with that essential feature of English public holidays – rain. Meanwhile I have naturally been thinking about the Queen, and the monarchy. It's a great occasion, this jubilee that will almost certainly never recur, and it should be a straightforward matter (for us reactionary monarchists) of celebrating the Queen's astonishing 70-year reign and all that she and it represent. Happily there has been plenty of public rejoicing, thanksgiving and street partying, but somehow the whole affair, for me at least, is tinged with sadness – the sadness of an approaching end. The fact that the Queen is so obviously ailing is of course unsurprising, but the prospect it opens up is none the less unsettling: that soon she will no longer be here, that the next monarch (or two) will have nothing like her moral stature, self-control or fortitude. The Queen has always been there, all through my 70 years of remembered life (Coronation Day is among my earliest memories). As Larkin put it, 'In times when nothing stood But worsened or grew strange, There was one constant good – She did not change.'
  As a child I, like others of my generation, subconsciously identified the Queen with my mother, and that has given the relationship a particular emotional charge. And it seems I'm not the only one who feels this way about our monarch. Rather to my surprise, the Spectator's Low Life correspondent Jeremy Clarke is also in thrall. Looking back to his childhood home, where Karsh's 1951 portrait of the then Princess Elizabeth hung in a place of honour, he writes: 'As a child I counted it great good fortune to be born the subject of a queen, and one so beautiful. The feeling has increased, with the additional wonder that she has ruled over me with integrity and humility until she is the only one left in the kingdom – the one righteous individual staying God's hand against us in our iniquity.' I wouldn't quite go along with that last phrase, but I know just what he means. It is at the least a case of 'Après elle le déluge'. The end of an age, and of a deeply admirable human type, is drawing near. 


  1. In 1973 i told to a friend that I prefered Mott than Quadrophenia.. he said that i was Crazy...