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Saturday, March 25, 2023

The party ends but Britain’s monarchy looks to the future

by Danica Kirka

LONDON ( Associated Press) – Blow out beacons, take down stage, roll bunting. Party over.

After four days of parades, street parties and celebrating 70 years on the throne of Queen Elizabeth II, the Platinum Jubilee celebrations ended on Sunday with the Queen wave from Buckingham Palace and the crowd singing “God Save the Queen”.

But as tributes to Elizabeth’s lifetime of service begin to fade, Britain is left with the reality that the Second Elizabethan era is in its twilight.

The 96-year-old monarch, in recent months confined to what the palace calls an “episodic mobility issue”, made only three brief public appearances during the jubilee. Her son and heir, Prince Charles, 73, stood in for her at other events.

“Inevitably, we’ll lose him sometime. And so that would be one end of a golden reign, right?” historian and royal biographer Hugo Vickers told The Associated Press. “So I guess There’s a tiny hint of sadness in it.”

That truth was the subtext of the events of the weekend as newspapers, TV screens and even palace walls were filled with images of Elizabeth, who transformed from a glamorous young queen in crowns and diamonds to a global grandmother. She was known for her ubiquitous handbags and love of horses. and Corgis.

Elizabeth is Britain’s longest-reigning monarch, known by most people of all time.

That longevity has instilled a deep affection for the queen. The question for the House of Windsor is whether the public will transfer those sentiments to Charles when the time comes.

From the initial military review to the closing contest outside the palace, the royal family sought to make a case for that continuity, underlining the monarchy’s historical traditions and its role as a unifying institution, which would help the country share its successes. Helps to celebrate and provides comfort during the time. grief.

Charles was front and center when he stood up for his mother.

Dressed in a ceremonial scarlet tunic and bear-skin cap, he reviewed soldiers during the Queen’s birthday parade on Thursday. The next day, he was the last guest to enter St. Paul’s Cathedral and took his seat in front of the church for a service of thanksgiving in honor of the Queen. At Saturday’s star-studded concert in front of Buckingham Palace, he paid the main tribute to the woman he addressed as “Your Majesty, Mother.”

The royals know they have to work. Over the past year, the monarchy has been surrounded by accusations of racism and bullying, a sex scandal involving Prince Andrew and demands that he apologize for Britain’s historic role in the enslavement of millions of Africans.

But if the Windsors want proof of the enduring popularity of all things royal, they need look no further than the thousands who cheered the streets and parks around Buckingham Palace, waved the Union flag and said “Thank you, madam.” need to say. “In the last four days.

Royal historian Ed Owens stated that a demonstration of public support is vital to the monarchy’s existence.

“The Family Firm: Monarchy, the Mass Media and the British Public 1932–1953.” “All these events are in play for the British public … Jubilee is as much a celebration of the British people in the British nation as the Queen herself.”

Since assuming the throne following the death of her father on February 6, 1952, Elizabeth has been a symbol of stability as Britain negotiated the end of the Empire, the beginning of the Information Age, and the mass migration that transformed the country into a multicultural society . ,

During this time all the queens have formed a bond with the nation through an endless series of public appearances as they opened libraries, dedicated hospitals and honored deserving citizens.

Actor and writer Stephen Fry captured the service of a lifetime, a far cry from the stately events and military parades that garnered media attention, as he performed Saturday evening’s jubilee concert outside Buckingham Palace. had paid tribute during

“How many local sewage works have opened their glory with a radiant smile? How many plaques were unveiled? How many trees did you plant? How many ribbons cut, ships launched? Fry asked, laughing at the crowd. “How many prime ministers endured? For that alone, no praise is enough.”

While they would like to see more of the Queen, fans like Anne Middleton, 61, understood the limits of her health issues.

Middleton, a human resources executive, traveled from her home in Wales to London for the long holiday weekend. Wearing a dress covered in red, white and blue nail polish and Union and Welsh flags, she and her friends watched Saturday’s concert from camp chairs in St James’s Park.

“We wanted to reach out and tell him we were there for him too,” Middleton said. “Because she’s always been there for us.”

The Queen’s public appearance during the jubilee was brief but symbolic, underlining the three pillars of her reign: a personal bond with the public, strong ties with the armed forces and support for the Commonwealth, with Britain’s pre-colonial ties 54 a group of countries.

On Thursday afternoon she joined other senior members of the royal family on the balcony of Buckingham Palace to watch a flypast by 70 military planes and greet supporters filling the street below. Later, he attended a beacon lighting ceremony at Windsor Palace, the culmination of an event that spread across the Commonwealth.

The weekend culminated with another balcony appearance for the enthusiastic crowd, this time with only Prince Charles and his wife and Prince William and his wife and children.

The message could not have been clearer: Here lies the present and future of the monarchy.

Robert Lacey, a royal historian and advisor to the Netflix series “The Crown,” believes the royal family’s relationship with the British public will continue.

“There’s a magic about royalty. If you don’t care to admit it, it’s up to you,” he said.

“But for many Britons, the magic moment[is]when the Queen or Prince Charles … walks into your neighbourhood,” he said. “You have been touched by a spell – which is no longer divine, but which represents the community – that says, ‘You matter and you are part of a bigger picture, a society, a community.'”


Follow Associated Press’s coverage of the British royals at https://apnews.com/hub/queen-elizabeth-ii

World Nation News Desk
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