Tag Archives: platinum jubilee

British Monarchy in 2022 – a Polish perspective

It was June 2012. It seems like yesterday, however it has been 10 years since I had the opportunity to meet the Queen. I just left the hospital where I was treated for kidney stones. Although I felt weak and under the weather, I wanted to be ready for the big occasion.

June 2012 was also a busy month at work. In actual fact, it was a busy year for the UK as we were hosting the Olympic Games whereas Poland and Ukraine were organising the European Championship in football.

The Queen came to Hatfield House to visit her cousin. I was selected to be one of only 30 people from Hertfordshire, who had the opportunity to meet her. Our conversation lasted maybe 60-90 seconds. The Queen asked about my origins and whether I liked living in the UK. I must admit that I was surprised that despite her age, she looked “sharp”, focused and in good health.

The dust has settled after the Bank Holiday Weekend and the Queen’s Jubilee celebrations. It might be a good moment to think about the role and relevance of the monarchy in the UK in 2022.

I will never forget a “corridor conversation” with a good friend of mine, who comes originally from Trinidad and Tobago. She said that as a child, instead of learning about the history of her beautiful country, she was taught the history of Great Britain. Quite a recent visit to the Caribbean islands by Prince William and Duchess Kate demonstrates how strongly, in some cases, the resentment towards monarchy is embedded in the mind-set of some of the former British colonies. Painful history of British dominance, which often resulted in the suffering of indigenous population, is amplified by the huge drive of many countries across the globe for independence and self-government.

This is not only a “British problem”. France, Belgium or Portugal, particularly in Africa, also shows how hard it is to maintain the importance of any monarchy in the XXI century. The most recent royal scandals in the UK and Spain also show how difficult it might be to change that perception in the future. I must admit that as a Pole, who has been living in the UK for the last 17 years, the “public hierarchy” is still deeply enrooted in our society. Is it right to inherit your status or position only because you were born into a particular social fabric?

Poland lost its last King in 1795. This is when Poland disappeared from the map of Europe. We only re-gained our independence in 1918. Until the XVIII century, Poland also had a long history of monarchy, however due to our recent history, it is almost a forgotten subject.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 4 Comments

Alex Cole-Hamilton’s Platinum Jubilee tribute to the Queen

Today Scottish political leaders paid tribute to the Queen’s 70 year reign. This is what Alex Cole-Hamilton had to say:

During the Queen’s reign she has seen 14 Prime Ministers come and go and has met with 13 out of the last 14 US Presidents. She has represented this country and the Commonwealth around the world with unfaltering poise and distinction.

In a world that can sometimes seem sadly and increasingly defined by shallow self-interest, Her Majesty has long served as an exquisite example of the best of Britishness: humility, service, dedication to duty, dignity, and forbearance.

Posted in News | Also tagged | 11 Comments

Ed Davey’s Platinum Jubilee Message

As the nation gets ready to either throw themselves into bunting and street parties or steadfastly ignore what is going on, Ed Davey paid tribute to the Queen:

I would like to pay tribute to Her Majesty’s remarkable reign which has been the bedrock of our country for the past 70 years. The Queen has led our country through both good and challenging times, and for that we owe Her Majesty a great gratitude.

Posted in News | Also tagged | Leave a comment

Ed Davey on Queen Elizabeth, jubilees and parachuting monarchs

A week ago, Lib Dem leader Ed Davey joined members of the House of Commons in paying tribute to the Queen.

Davey said: “The whole country will agree that our Queen has more than fulfilled her promises made to our nation. With her sense of selflessness and her steadfast commitment to the nation, these values and her service have defined Her Majesty’s seven-decade reign and will continue to define her. The unwavering nature of her service and duty is made all the more remarkable by the length of Her Majesty’s reign.”

Reminiscing about the silver jubilee, he said: “My strongest memory of 1977 is the Queen’s smile and personal delight as Virginia Wade won Wimbledon. My fingers are crossed that Emma Raducanu might serve up something similar later this year.”

Davey said the highlight of the diamond jubilee in 2012 was watching the Queen parachute down to the opening ceremony of the summer Olympics. Asking Queen Margrethe of Denmark when she was taking up parachuting. She replied: “When I’m over 80.”

Posted in News | Also tagged , and | Leave a comment

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:

Posted in LibLink | Also tagged | 19 Comments
Advert



Recent Comments

  • Andy Boddington
    This is a very male dominated discussion, which is a surprise given its subject. We editors will hold back some comments from people who have already spoken to ...
  • expats
    Far too many, "Nah, nah, nah', we did better than you did", comments.. Please, just grow up and concentrate on removing this government!...
  • Jeff
    Paul Barker 24th Jun '22 - 2:11pm: The thing that has struck me about coverage of last night is how everyone is running down the Solid Labour win in ...
  • Cassie
    ...also, wouldn't he have to be an MP? Mordaunt maybe, but she'd need to up her public profile. A lot....
  • Cassie
    Mordaunt and Frost are both ardent Brexiteers. Well, Frost is these days, he was pro-EU. and then negotiated a deal he later thought was rubbish, and then he qu...