LibLink: Christine Jardine – Thank you Ma’am

In her Scotsman column this week, Christine Jardine looks back at the Queen’s reign and her contribution to our national life.

She looks at the laws the Queen has given assent to over the past 70 years:

In 70 years, the Queen has given Royal Assent to around 4,000 pieces of legislation.

Among them are some of the most significant in British social history on abortion, race relations, equal rights, same-sex marriage and devolution.

And the fact that the Queen is female helped the cause of women’s equality:

Even in the ‘Swinging 60s’, a decade marked by social and sexual revolution in the UK, the perceived wisdom imparted to those of us at school was that the boys would be the doctors, engineers and lawyers. The girls would be nurses, teachers and secretaries until we stopped to have our babies.

Seems madness now, but that is the world our mothers had to deal with, and that we overcame or are at least overcoming.

How important has it been to that change that our head state, the image presented to the world and to us, has been a woman?

She remembers just how young the Queen was when she took on the demanding role of Head of State:

Just last night, I was reminiscing with my daughter about her memories of the two Jubilees she has known. She is 26 now. The age the Queen was when she began the long journey to this coming weekend.

The thought stopped both of us in our tracks as we realised what a weight had been placed on young shoulders and how long she has carried it and that, beyond the bunting and afternoon teas and bringing together of friends and neighbours, we should remember the gravity of the weight of the duty. Heavy is the head that wears the crown.

You can read the whole article here.

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19 Comments

  • ………….Seems madness now, but that is the world our mothers had to deal with…………

    Sorry, but the article reads like something written by a member of my mother’s generation (BTW I’m 79yo)

  • Paul Barker 31st May '22 - 5:00pm

    I am sure this is sincere but ……
    I am sorry but it comes across as the worship of Wealth, Privilege, strength …
    I see nothing to admire in The Queen, I have the same respect for her as for anyone else I am told to respect – none.

    The whole idea of someone being born to be or do something is utterly illiberal.

  • Lorenzo Cherin 31st May '22 - 5:23pm

    i would say it’s terrific that christine jardine writes this.

    expats sorry, but that is taking away from the experience of many women who indeed have much to celebrate in the changing roles, over those years.

    paul barker that is a trust in you, shattered, to say you have no respect for her, a great Head of State, a fine petrson, because, you perceieve we are told to feel this. No, we , many, of us, feel great respect and warmth towards the Queen.

    And she is more or less elected, by view of polls, that give her approving support of much of this land!

  • Lorenzo Cherin 31st May '22 - 5:25pm

    i would say it’s terrific that christine jardine writes this.

    expats sorry, but that is taking away from the experience of many women who indeed have much to celebrate in the changing roles, over those years.

    paul barker that is a trust in you, shattered, to say you have no respect for her, a great Head of State, a fine person, because, you perceive we are told to feel this. No, we , many, of us, feel great respect and warmth towards the Queen.

    And she is more or less elected, by view of polls, that give her approving support of much of this land!

  • Brad Barrows 31st May '22 - 5:52pm

    Though proudly republican, I have no difficulty in stating that anyone who has faithfully performed a role for 70 years deserves recognition, be that as Head of State or as secretary of a community association. While I think Lorenzo Cherin is correct that the Queen would be elected as Head of State if an election for the role was held, I don’t believe her successor would be Charles if put to popular vote.

  • I read the article in the Scotsman and know Ms Jardine is/was a journalist. She knows how to target an audience/age group – probably in West Edinburgh.

    I bear no hostility to the Queen. I’m sure she performs conscientiously – but on the radical (rational ?) side of politics preferring democracy I can’t support a system based on heredity. It can, and does, produce cuckoos in the nest – e.g. Queen Vic opposed female suffrage.

    I agree with Lloyd George, who 112 years ago said of the House of Lords, “Should 500 men, ordinary men, chosen accidentally from among the unemployed, override the judgement – the deliberate judgement – of millions of people who are engaged in the industry which makes the lingering on with that sole qualification ?”

    Ms Jardine says, “In 70 years, the Queen has given Royal Assent to around 4,000 pieces of legislation. Among them are some of the most significant in British social history on abortion, race relations, equal rights, same-sex marriage and devolution”. Yes, but over those years she must also have gi.

    @ Lorenzo, out of interest, who is the legitimate successor to King Victor Emmanuel. Would you reinstate him/her ? Germany seems to have done pretty well without the Hohenzollerns.

    To conclude, if the Windsors don’t bother me, I won’t bother them (but, I wouldn’t allow them the UBI…. and the Duchy of Cornwall should pay its taxes).

  • The article itself is OK but I find the headline a bit grating. I wonder if Christine chose that herself or if the paper made it up.

  • Diana Simpson 1st Jun '22 - 9:41am

    expats It’s certainly the world I had to deal with and I’m only in my 70s!

  • Ruth Bright 1st Jun '22 - 10:40am

    Not allowing them the UBI? What? Not even pillars of the community like Prince Andrew? You are a hard man David Raw. Enjoy the street party 😊

  • Steve Trevethan 1st Jun '22 - 11:58am

    Might it be the case that we do not really know what the actual effects of our Queen’s inputs to the governance of our Country are?

    Might it help our Country for us to bear in mind that when our Queen began her reign there was minimal child poverty resulting in chronic child hunger, and now chronic child hunger afflicts more than 30% of our children?

  • Jason Connor 1st Jun '22 - 12:16pm

    Give me a constitutional monarchy over a republican presidential system any day.

  • Well well. There was I thinking I was the only republican in our liberal village. Perhaps its time for all of us of a like mind to come out and form a Republic group in the lib dems. Any takers?

  • I sympathise with Paul Barker, however we are where we are and the Queen has done her constitutional job as required for a very long time and deserves the fullest recognition for that.

  • Nonconformistradical 1st Jun '22 - 1:02pm

    “Might it help our Country for us to bear in mind that when our Queen began her reign there was minimal child poverty resulting in chronic child hunger”
    Actually some aspects of WW2 rationing were still in force – could it just be that when limited to basic foodstuffs and not too much of it people might have been doing better dietwose?

  • Lorenzo Cherin 1st Jun '22 - 1:07pm

    David

    I would have no loyalty to any system that had, as a result, lousy individuals. My father was named Umberto, after the Italian King. Better him than the tyrant Mussolini,my father, forced to be in the Mussolini Youth, Saw him, in line up, as inspected them . My father, a teenage anti Fascist, went to help the Partisans. The Italian system, Monarcy, Dictatorship, led to loust individuals.

    Verdi was a liberal, a nationalist only in that he wanted a united, nation. Known for being anti prejudice, he wrote The Chorus of the Hebrew slaves, when Wagner was in thrall to antsemitism, and wrote articles about the Jews that read like Mein Kampf! Verdi preferred a Republic, but as a way to secure a unified Italy, accepted Monarchy.

    I am not ideological, re: structures. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it. I like our system, as it has given us good people, who have added stability. If the Windsors were wretched, I would feel it less, and consider a different system. They are not wretched. They are terrific. The Queen, a really fine moderate individual, known anti prejudice and decent as a person and Monarch.

  • Diana Simpson 1st Jun ’22 – 9:41am…………expats It’s certainly the world I had to deal with and I’m only in my 70s!………..

    It was shameful..However, pretending that having a ‘female Queen’ had anything at all to do with the inevitable changes is beyond me..My experience is that most of those supporting the pre-1960’s satus quo were ardent royalists..

    The real purpose of royalty is to ensure that royalty survives.. For those preferring a King over a constitutional republic (Ireland seem to do rather well) if Andrew had been the first born he would become King..

  • Steve Griffiths 1st Jun '22 - 3:54pm

    I can recommend the book “…And What Do You Do?” by former Lib Dem MP for Lewes and Home Office minister, Norman Baker, published in 2020. A hard-hitting analysis of the royal family.

  • Kyle Harrison 2nd Jun '22 - 7:27am

    God Save the Queen!

  • Steve Trevethan 3rd Jun '22 - 7:21am

    Might it be the case that rationing of some sort is always with us?
    Currently, we have rationing by price, with a consequence that over 30% of our children lack enough food to live healthily.
    When we had rationing by need, all children were decently fed.
    What might we do about this situation?

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