Friday, 11 September 2015

Friday Five: Long to Reign Over Us

This week, having occupied the throne for 63 years, Her Royal Highness Queen Elizabeth II overtook her great-great-grandmother, Queen Victoria, to become Britain's longest-serving monarch. Apparently she didn't want to make a fuss, which, as well as being terribly British, is completely understandable, bearing in mind the reason for her coronation was the premature death of her father.

So she commemorated the event with a train ride along a new section of track along the Scottish borders. With Nicola Sturgeon, a woman who supports devolution of Scotland. This is the height of humility. That's my queen. Many people have criticised her reign as having been unspectacular, uninteresting and 'humdrum' (Jeremy Paxman). She might agree. In her 1957 Christmas broadcast (the first to be televised), she said, "I cannot lead you into battle, I do not give you laws or administer justice but I can do something else, I can give you my heart and my devotion to these old islands and to all the peoples of our brotherhood of nations." 

As far as I am concerned, that is exactly what she has done and, in so doing, she embodies the epitome of British values. They may be much derided, and they may not be swashbuckling, outstanding, headline-grabbing virtues, but they are the ones that make me proud to be British:

5 British Virtues Demonstrated by Her Majesty:
  1. Politeness/ courtesy
  2. Dignity
  3. Tolerance
  4. Respect
  5. Going to extraordinary lengths to say nothing that could give offence to anyone

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this Kate, I think that she is fantastic too. I love the quotation, I hadn't heard it before