Columnist: The Jubbly celebrations are crass in a time of economic instability

by Susan Ryant

The Platinum Jubbly is almost upon us. The British media and the Windsor family have been hyping this mess for more than a year. We’ve gotten hundreds of stories about the fakakta balcony and who will get to stand on a mansion’s porch and why and how. We’ve gotten hundreds of stories about which events the Queen will attend or not attend. We’ve gotten thousands of stories about whether Prince Harry and Meghan will come, what happens when they come, how they aren’t welcome and why everyone will pay attention to them. At the end of the day, I believe most British people are simply looking forward to the Jubbly because A) yay, a four-day weekend and B) once it happens, people will finally stop talking about the damn Jubbly. Except there are some lowkey commentary pieces about how crass it is that the United Kingdom is even being this extra about a jubbly party. Columnist Yasmin Alibhai-Brown wrote an excellent piece called “The cost of living crisis makes the Queen’s grossly excessive platinum jubilee look crass.” Yes. An excerpt:

Forgive me for being a party pooper, a spoilsport. But not all Britons are gearing up for nationwide revelries to mark Queen Elizabeth’s 70-year reign. They, like me, are dismayed and incensed by the scale and profligacy of the planned celebrations.

I am a republican, but I do agree that the monarch’s long rule and her life, which embodies so much history, should be honoured and commemorated. And that we should always respect the elderly. But 1,458 public events? Two thousand street parties and private bashes? Pimm’s sales up by 260 per cent? Do they not know there is a war on? And that inflation is leading to unbearable food poverty? That fuel costs are hitting ordinary people who work incredibly hard to support their families? How can the nation afford this? Hyper-royalists may well sneer: “Let them eat jubilee cake.” They know the poor and dispossessed will never revolt in this country. That most of those who have little or nothing revere the monarch and her brood.

It’s unfathomable why, with never-ending royal scandals, the Queen’s support for Andrew, the way the Windsors express entitlement and manifest inexhaustible greed. Harry and Meghan – who represented modernity and diversity – were hounded out. Like Diana, Meghan destabilised their ways and values. Both women remain unforgiven by ardent royalists. Diana’s nemesis is now set to be the next queen. This unworthy family sits on top of Britain’s social pyramid, proudly overseeing an unequal, iniquitous system. They should be more mindful, less arrogant.

Graham Smith, chief executive officer of the anti-monarchy campaign Republic, wrote this in the Daily Express after football fans booed Prince William at the FA Cup final at the weekend: “[There’s] good reason to boo royals, because they represent something that a lot of people object to. Not Britain, but elitism, unearned wealth, limits on democracy and hereditary privilege… We live in a country that leaves many destitute, while rewarding one family with hundreds of millions of pounds, two dozen luxury homes and a fleet of private jets, helicopters and even their own train. And why? For no reason than that their ancestors stole power and land from everyone else.”

In a recent report, published by the politically neutral think tank British Futures, young people appeared ambivalent about the monarchy, with four in 10 wanting to keep it and a similar proportion (37 per cent) feeling that the end of the Queen’s reign would be the right time to become a republic. Support for the monarchy is weakening, too, among ethnic minorities and Scots of all ages.

More anti-monarchists need to speak up about the grossly excessive Platinum Jubilee festivities. When I said this to a fellow republican, a stand-up comic, he laughed out loud: “We’re like Catholics in the 16th century. This would be heresy. You think I should commit heresy?” Well, yes.

[From i News]

She also writes about gay rights activist Peter Tatchell, who was asked to be part of the Jubbly celebrations and he declined because “the Queen has never publicly acknowledged that LGBT+ people exist.” The Queen has also never visited a food bank!! Anyway, yes, it’s interesting that the Jubbly was supposed to be this grand, healing, patriotic elixir wherein the Queen and her family were hailed as the perfect white embodiment of a nation – and it all went to hell in the lead-up. The royals being protested on their colonialist tours of commonwealth nations, Harry and Meghan’s exile, the rise in inequities from the pandemic, and on and on. Why is the palace still insisting on doing this huge blow-out?

Photos courtesy of Backgrid, Instar and Avalon Red.

North America Rights Only – Windsor, UK -20220515- Queen Elizabeth II meets Alan Tichmarsh and Adjoa Andoh (left) as she departs following the A Gallop Through History Platinum Jubilee celebration at the Royal Windsor Horse Show at Windsor Castle -PICTURED: Queen Elizabeth II -PHOTO by: Steve Parsons/PA Images/INSTARimages.com Disclaimer: This is an editorial, rights-managed image. Please contact INSTAR Images for licensing fee and rights information at sales@instarimages.com or call +1 212 414 0207. This image may not be published in any way that is, or might be deemed to be, defamatory, libelous, pornographic, or obscene. Please consult our sales department for any clarification needed prior to publication and use. INSTAR Images reserves the right to pursue unauthorized users of this material. 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Please contact INSTAR Images for licensing fee and rights information at sales@instarimages.com or call +1 212 414 0207. This image may not be published in any way that is, or might be deemed to be, defamatory, libelous, pornographic, or obscene. Please consult our sales department for any clarification needed prior to publication and use. INSTAR Images reserves the right to pursue unauthorized users of this material. If you are in violation of our intellectual property rights or copyright you may be liable for damages, loss of income, any profits you derive from the unauthorized use of this material and, where appropriate, the cost of collection and/or any statutory damages awardedFor images containing underage children: Be advised that some Countries may have restricted privacy laws against publishing images of underage children. Inform yourself! 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