The weekend done, work begins again, a house until yesterday brightly bedecked in celebration with the flags of Queen and county is back to quite normality. The long, long weekend was bright and sunny, mainly, and cheerful even in the rain. The barbecue is packed away (and the foxes have snaffled the incinerated sausages). Our revels now are ended, but all is right with the world still, in this little compass.
Her Majesty’s unequalled years of service, across a whole age of the world, has been told often and could be celebrated many times over, and one lengthened weekend is not enough, so while the bunting has been rolled up and put away, we are still celebrating Her Majesty’s service and our own happiness in it.
The cloud-capp’d towers, the gorgeous palaces; they still stand and remind us of that underlying stability that the Queen means to our nation, with all her forebears before her and all who will follow, while generations pass and change, with our sorrows, our failings and our successes, knowing that there is an an essential social bond to keep us together. That is what the balcony is for – showing not just the Queen but also the promise of the following generations.
This morning the mucky world of politics begins gain, and with ferocity by all accounts. That is just an aspect of the country; at the revels of the weekend the very topmost man of the government, the Prime Minister, had no part to play in the ceremonial of state, and was only one of many officials speaking at St Paul’s Cathedral: politics may be all that links some foreign states, but here it is an aspect only, leaving us the envy of less happier lands.
For men, as they become at last weary of irregular justling, and hewing one another, and desire with all their hearts, to conforme themselves into one firme and lasting edifice; so for want, both of the art of making fit Laws, to square their actions by, and also of humility, and patience, to suffer the rude and combersome points of their present greatnesse to be taken off, they cannot without the help of a very able Architect, be compiled, into any other than a crasie building, such as hardly lasting out their own time, must assuredly fall upon the heads of their posterity.
Whoever is Prime Minister this time next week, he is just an official performing a function and may not think of himself as any higher, and if the pride rises, the requirement to kneel before the throne is a reminder.
For all this and much much more, we say with full-throated voice:
GOD SAVE THE QUEEN!