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The Queen's Golden Jubilee in the UK
June 5, 2002 2:58 PM   Subscribe

The Queen's Golden Jubilee in the UK - did anyone see it? If you were in the UK, it's likely you would have seen at least some of the amazing celebrations of the Royal Family - four days of partying, including a huge pop/rock concert with loads of famous names, a classical concert, pomp and pagentry in a 4 ton gold chariot and a huge carnival drew 14 million TV viewers a night, and millions more went to see the royal knees-up, knocking the royal critics for six. Even Ozzy Osbourne sang a number, bless him. The final royal flypast rounded off the most amazing scenes I've ever seen. Brits - does this show of affection make your bosom swell with pride? Others - are you jealous, or thankful you weren't there?
posted by wibbler (54 comments total)

 
I'm half-British, so I can comment briefly. It really was amazing stuff, and I only caught a part of it.

My aunts (who were in the thick of it), who are usually unflappable, called me a few times in the midst of it, near tears with excitement.

I almost flew over, but decided not to go to that effort, so She will just have to hang on another 25 years for the Diamond.

And I would love to see of the Beeb's "Best Of" coverage in a package suitable for ordering.
posted by ebarker at 3:04 PM on June 5, 2002


I was at the pop concert - in the fourth row. It was amazing - where else could you see Prince William making small talk with Shirley Bassey - and we got enough free alcohol to get semi-drunk, which was great. But the whole jubilee thing leaves me sort of cold. I'm neither republican nor royalist, just indifferent.
posted by Summer at 3:20 PM on June 5, 2002


I think the 2 days of bank holiday was the best bit for quite a lot of people. The rest didn't really have much of an impact, for me at least. Then again, that might have been because it was my birthday on monday.
posted by iain at 3:32 PM on June 5, 2002


4 day weekend, God bless the Queen - we got a day off when she came round my school too, great stuff..

I did enjoy the classical concert and the pop concert, and all the other celebrations and events made me feel well patriotic and stuff - in fact, the only downer of a fun weekend was the England teams performance. Bleurgh.

One thing I did notice though - is the second verse of our national anthem really non-PC as Prince Charles alluded to in his speechlet at the pop concert? I wonder how many people know it anyway - at the England vs Sweden game the crowd just decided to sing the first verse again :)

I think its time England got its own national anthem - all the other bits of the UK have theirs; Jerusalem would be my pick, stirring stuff (and easy to remember (well, if you've had to sing it in Westminster Abbey at least 6 times a year..)).
posted by Mossy at 3:41 PM on June 5, 2002


Makes one proud to be British
posted by stevridie at 3:47 PM on June 5, 2002


What a complete waste of the taxpayers' money. That half hour firework display alone could have paid for countless desperately needed nurses, teachers, police, etc. And the Queen couldn't have ben less interested! The miserable old cow had trouble not yawning.

a huge carnival drew 14 million TV viewers a night

Well, if the two most popular stations (out of just five) choose to show virtually nothing but the jubilee 'celebrations' then of course the viewing figures will be high. Personally, I was watching in the hope of catching an assassination attempt live.

Brits - does this show of affection make your bosom swell with pride?

It made me cringe in embarrassment. Oh well, I give the useless bag one month before she looses her newfound support.
posted by MarkC at 4:06 PM on June 5, 2002


Mossy, national anthem - non-PC verse:

God grant that Marshall Wade,
May by thy mighty aid,
Victory bring,
May he sedition hush,
And like a torrent rush,
Rebellious Scots to Crush,
God save the King.


Came about as a result of the Jacobite rebellion of 1745 but hasn't ever really qualified as a 'proper' verse. Still, it makes my blood boil, so it does. The very idea that we should be crushed for having a wee rebellion. Tcch!
posted by MUD at 4:10 PM on June 5, 2002


I'm annoyed they allowed the Hell's Angels into the parade, which has been in of considerable controversy in Canada and particularly Quebec. The Quebec government seems to be upset about the children and prison guards and other innocent people that have been killed in the turf war lately, but apparently the BBC think it's a hoot or something.
posted by bobo123 at 4:12 PM on June 5, 2002


The antidote... it's healthy to have one around.
posted by Arqa at 4:13 PM on June 5, 2002


There were events going off all over the country. Best bit for me was Saturday afternoon in the North quadrangle at All Soul's College Oxford where thousands of people who would normally be denied entry - couples, children, students of all ages - were invited to lounge around on the pristine lawn and listen to a brass band. As the sun shone, music swelled and a trio of gliders wheeled high overhead as the sun hovered over the nippled dome of the Radcliffe camera. It was quality: auspicious and informal.
posted by hmgovt at 4:13 PM on June 5, 2002


Any excuse for a party will do. Dammit, they make no sense but they're there, ain't they.
posted by boneybaloney at 4:13 PM on June 5, 2002


...?
posted by boneybaloney at 4:14 PM on June 5, 2002


They should come together on an authorised version for us poor fans.. I always thought verse 2 was:

Thy choicest gifts in store
On her be pleased to pour,
Long may she reign.
May she defend our laws,
And give us ever cause,
To sing with heart and voice,
God save the Queen.

Nokia: 48, 08, 088, 49, 58, 08, 088, 39, 08, 48, 5, 08, 088, 69, 6, 6#, 6, 088, 0888, 58, 49, 5, 4, 3,4

Ericsson: 4 * * (4) 5 * * (3) * 4 5 * * (6) (6) (6)# (6) * * 5 (4) (5) (4) (3) (4)

Teehee..
posted by Mossy at 4:36 PM on June 5, 2002


I'm British, and I'm glad to say, I didn't see one second of it.
posted by salmacis at 4:46 PM on June 5, 2002


What a complete waste of the taxpayers' money. That half hour firework display alone could have paid for countless desperately needed nurses, teachers, police, etc.

According to the independent, no taxpayers money was spent on the parties at the palace. I hear (but cannot find an online source at the moment) that the BBC made several million more by selling the rights to broadcast the concerts abroad. In any case, there were profits which all went to charity

There are plently of reasons to dislike the monarchy, but nobody was forced to get involved in the celebrations. Of course, I assume that everyone moaning about them declined to take the two days off work?
posted by paranoidfish at 5:20 PM on June 5, 2002


Mossy: may I just ask what the deal is with the ringtones? Every UK site I visit on music mentions ringtones. I don't see that on sites for Canada or USA, certainly not to the same extent.

How do I program my sad little Nokia to play ringtones of my choosing? HOW? Flight of the Bumblebee is wearing thin.....
posted by Salmonberry at 5:40 PM on June 5, 2002


I was one of the million in the Mall on Tuesday and it was a lot of fun. Especially seeing the Notting Hill Carnival being (if effect) run again everyone where I was standing was really getting into it. The flypast was a bit impressive as well, I was glad to see a Eurofighter deployed it is a very intensely cool aeroplane and the Red Arrows in tight formation on concorde traliang red, white and blue smoke? Tears in the throat.

I know that plane cost billions and hasn't really ever made money but it's the single most inspirational man made object I've ever been near. The desire to do things better, faster and more elgantly isn't expressed any better than in Concorde.
posted by nedrichards at 6:28 PM on June 5, 2002


I rather like this explanation of why monarchy is a ridiculous concept:

DENNIS Look, strange women lying on their backs in ponds handing out swords ... that's no basis for a system of government. Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony.

ARTHUR Be quiet!

DENNIS You can't expect to wield supreme executive power just 'cause some watery tart threw a sword at you!


The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation has a nice piece on their site explaining that the "traditions" in regard to the Jubilee are being made up as they go along, and that the concerts were put on because Buckingham Palace didn't want to be embarrassed that there were a lot fewer street parties than there were 25 years ago.
posted by geneablogy at 6:44 PM on June 5, 2002


The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation has a nice piece on their site explaining that the "traditions" in regard to the Jubilee are being made up as they go along ...

Does anyone believe these traditions to be 'centuries-old', as the article claims they do? Or, indeed, that street parties (for instance) are a 'tradition'? It's fairly common knowledge that the monarchy has had to constantly adapt, however slowly it may seem, thoughout its existence. The writer of that article appears surprised that this should be the case.
posted by malpractice at 8:10 PM on June 5, 2002


Salmonberry, it depends on your phone model. About Ringtones should start you off right.
posted by dhartung at 8:21 PM on June 5, 2002


god. save the queen.
posted by quonsar at 8:57 PM on June 5, 2002


Thanks for that, Arqa. All through the jubilee I was looking for a good anti-monarchist site, and that was better then anything I found.
posted by stuporJIX at 12:23 AM on June 6, 2002


I'm annoyed they allowed the Hell's Angels into the parade

bobo123: It was only one Hells Angel, who had gone to the trouble of organising a few bikers - a sight I very much enjoyed.

Besides, I've had dealing with the HA in the past and they've been very good to me. I know they're far from being saints, but they're not all bad.
posted by Nick Jordan at 12:49 AM on June 6, 2002


I was at Hyde Park on Monday and enjoyed myself greatly. I'm most pleased about reclaiming the Union Flag from the likes of the BNP, even if it was only for a few days. It's a bugbear of mine that we should even feel a tinge of shame when flying our national flag.
posted by viama at 1:23 AM on June 6, 2002


Sat: Wedding (best friend from school)
Sun am: England v Sweden
Sun pm: visiting new goddaughter (shweeet!)
Mon am: Brazil v Turkey
Mon pm - Tue pm at work - making use of an empty office to do some Mac spring cleaning.

And now I have the extra days' holiday I need to have a quick 2 weeks in LA & SF at the end of the summer so I ain't complaining ;-)

I've no beef with a big party & it's good folks had some fun.

History shows us that every time the monarchy / country looks a bit shakey all the 'tradition' & baubles are rolled out for us 'subjects' (*blergh*) to enjoy and we are grateful for being allowed to enjoy. thankyouthankyouthankyou [bowing & tugging of forelock]

I think that the whole concept of the monarchy & aristocracy is a complete load of bollox and really needs to be got rid of at the earliest convenience but then every country has it's archaic foibles, be they the right to bear arms in the US, lingering Confucianism in the Far East etc, etc.

It's a good time to be living in the UK. Not because of the jubilee but because its interesting to see & be a part of how we are re-shaping ourselves as a nation. The confusion is fun ;-)
posted by i_cola at 3:43 AM on June 6, 2002


I'm just glad to be a Londoner in Norway, away from forced British PR induced nonsense.

For Norwegians the 17th May is a big national day. In London they had to clear 75 tonnes of litter, in Oslo the streets were spotless.
posted by mook at 3:45 AM on June 6, 2002


in Oslo the streets were spotless.

yeah, but the downside of this is you had to be in oslo.
posted by billybob at 4:00 AM on June 6, 2002


I simply don't understand the sort of person who camps out overnight to stand in the rain all day to catch a glimpse of someone who has done nothing to deserve such adulation other than being born to the right person.

And surely the 'rock' concert marks the end of the rock'n'roll era as we know it??? Not only was it full of non-entities (atomic kitten????), has-beens (Joe Cocker) and never-weres (ohh, too many to mention) but it was full of mistakes, the sound was awful, and it seemed like everyone was indulging in some sort of competition to see who could make the most people vomit with their endless tributes, praise and sycophantic fawning.

The 1977 concert saw the likes of David Soul (the Ricky Martin of his day, surely) serenading the public while the Sex Pistols played (and later got arrested) on a boat on the Thames. That year the Clash, Buzzcocks, Stranglers were all releasing great records and Derek Jarman was making films - where are their equivalents today???
posted by barnsoir at 4:23 AM on June 6, 2002


Jeezus, I found the whole thing mass-hysterical. And all to celebrate this emotionally constipated aristocrat who's done nothing but hold together a pointlessly unified state, that should long ago have been Europeanised and modernised.

Anyway, what it really was was a festival of Londonness as the capital of Englishness - which of course is cool for the English, let them come to their modest post-imperial identity as they may. Betty Britain is at the moment a vessel for that. But up here in North Britain, nobody gave a toss.
posted by theplayethic at 4:25 AM on June 6, 2002


The concert was a bizarre spectacle to which the Queen turned up when it was almost over.

When she did turn up she look very unhappy, though I have to say I would feel the same if I had that poodle haired twat playing guitar on my roof.
posted by johnny novak at 4:26 AM on June 6, 2002


there is alot of bitching from alot of people who would probably pee their pants if they received any recognition from the Royal household whether it be an MBE, CBE or an uninterested 'What do you do?', uttered on an official visit.

Look at Ben 'Right-on' Elton. Loaded, full of shit and wanking himself stupid over performing at Buck-House.

- 'poodle haired twat' made me laugh. Class.
posted by Frasermoo at 4:50 AM on June 6, 2002


It was smashing to see, and something I will not forget. I enjoyed it very much and it made me rather emotional: awed, proud, humbled and elated.

Proud to be British: yes to be honest.
posted by jackspot at 4:58 AM on June 6, 2002


Frasermoo: I can assure you, that in the unlikely event of a letter telling me I had been awarded the MBE, I would send it back with a note saying "Fuck Off".
posted by salmacis at 5:00 AM on June 6, 2002


Jeezus, I found the whole thing mass-hysterical. And all to celebrate this emotionally constipated aristocrat who's done nothing but hold together a pointlessly unified state, that should long ago have been Europeanised and modernised.
YOU WILL JOIN THE COLLECTIVE. RESISTANCE IS FUTILE. YOUR CULTURAL DIVERSITY WILL BE ADDED TO OUR OWN.
Hey, if the Brits want to have a hood ornament on their government (and they apparently do, why else hasn't Parliament abolished the monarchy yet?), let 'em. It's no more or less ridiculous than, say, Sweden, which has a similar hood ornament. Last I heard, they were an EU member in good standing.
posted by darukaru at 5:03 AM on June 6, 2002


"Others - are you jealous, or thankful you weren't there?"

As an American, I'm usually indifferent to the affairs of foreign nepotists as long as they leave me alone.
posted by Jos Bleau at 5:04 AM on June 6, 2002


Hell, even us Merkins have our share of unelected figures who serve mostly as media attention-grabbers: witness any First Lady.
posted by darukaru at 5:06 AM on June 6, 2002


"Unelected" ain't the same thing as inherited, and First Ladies ain't exactly unelected. And a media attention grabber ain't the same thing as a monarch.

It is sad to see any family concern run into the ground by an aging CEO clinging to power while an unpromising successor waits in the wings, but when your only business is nepotism, whatcha gonna do?

I know, let's put on a show! Are Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland available?
posted by Jos Bleau at 5:19 AM on June 6, 2002


Isn't a merkin a pubic wig?
posted by Summer at 5:20 AM on June 6, 2002


Yes Summer it is... you beat me to that one ! hehe
posted by Arqa at 5:24 AM on June 6, 2002


Ben Elton's performance was risible.

He and the poodle haired twat have recently collaborated on Queen the musical which is playing in the West End, it has had some of the worst reviews ever (comparatively speaking this one is quite polite) .
posted by johnny novak at 5:30 AM on June 6, 2002


The Windsors' recent attempts to show they're down with the plebs is about the most entertaining thing about the inbred fuckers (© holgate, 2001).
posted by ceiriog at 5:49 AM on June 6, 2002


Ben Elton did gags I remember from his Motormouth set of the late eighties. What a twat.
posted by Summer at 6:13 AM on June 6, 2002


I left the country - six days in New York for only two days leave taken - sounds like a bargain to me. (Doffs cap) Gawd Bless Yer, Ma'am....
posted by jonpollard at 6:18 AM on June 6, 2002


Well one of my kidneys has failed and i am skint.
(Doffs cap) - Freshen your drink guvna?
posted by Frasermoo at 6:25 AM on June 6, 2002


I got off my tits enough to think getting a taxi from Sheffield to Bradford was a good idea.
posted by vbfg at 6:31 AM on June 6, 2002


Go on. Tell us the cost.
posted by Frasermoo at 6:47 AM on June 6, 2002


Ridiculous though the monarchy can be, at least Blair can't get his mucky hands on it. You just know if any other system for head of state was in place a Blair-approved toady would get the job.
posted by Summer at 6:54 AM on June 6, 2002


Hey, if the Brits want to have a hood ornament on their government (and they apparently do, why else hasn't Parliament abolished the monarchy yet?)

Probably because her maj has the power to dissolve parliament and appoint a Prime Minister of her choosing, if the whim should take her.
posted by stuporJIX at 6:59 AM on June 6, 2002


You just know if any other system for head of state was in place a Blair-approved toady would get the job.

Unless they were elected, but then we'd have a real democracy!
posted by stuporJIX at 7:01 AM on June 6, 2002


It would be a costly whim, stuporJIX, for she would be deposed.

The English monarchy continues to exist because it serves the needs of parliament. How so? Since Britain has an 'unwritten constitution' the royal prerogatives that were abolished long ago on the continent have devolved to Parliament.

So the legislature has vast powers unchecked by written regulations - as long as they rule in the Queen's name. If she's going to tell them what to do, then they have lost their prerogitves - and they will certainly decide that would rather depose her and take their chances with a republic and a written constitution.

So she can exercise her whim once - and she & her kids'll loose their jobs.
posted by Jos Bleau at 7:11 AM on June 6, 2002


Unless they were elected, but then we'd have a real democracy!

Who would decide the candidates?
posted by Summer at 7:44 AM on June 6, 2002


Frasermoo: Cost of a taxi from Sheffield city centre to Bradford city centre at 6am on a Bank Holiday Monday is 40 quid. My negotiating technique was "40 quid to Bradford, will you do it or not?"

The alternative was waiting two hours for a train ride that would last three hours via York.
posted by vbfg at 8:01 AM on June 6, 2002


I thought Brain May's fretwankery on top of Buckingham Palace was the best bit.
posted by crayfish at 10:31 AM on June 6, 2002


Summer, if you're iterating that Blair would be able to put one of his own boy's in the position, may I remind you of the London mayoral elections, where things definitely didn't go Tony's way.
posted by stuporJIX at 10:44 AM on June 6, 2002


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