steepholm (steepholm) wrote,

Golden Memories?

I've just heard a discussion on the radio about "What Jubilees mean to us and why they're so special", in which one of the participants said that he went to a street party this weekend in the same street he had lived in twenty-five years ago, when they celebrated the Silver Jubilee. No one corrected him, or pointed out that the Silver Jubilee was actually thirty-five years ago. In fact, I think the twenty-five figure may have been picked up by others.

I find this interesting, and odd. The celebrations in 1977 were certainly one of the big memories from my teenagehood, too, so I can see why they stuck in this man's mind, but the real question is - what about the Golden Jubilee, just ten years ago? I confess to having no memory of the occasion at all, which is perhaps not surprising given my politics, but even amongst my royalist friends, no one ever mentions it. As the radio speaker's telling lapse indicates, it seems to have been repressed from the national memory.

Was it a disaster? Did aliens swoop down and subject the nation to a mass probe? Or was the monarchy going through one of its phases of unpopularity, and we'd rather not think about it thank you very much?

Meanwhile, the relative lack of celebrations north of the border are being interpreted not in terms of any disenchantment with the monarchy, but rather as characteristic of the natural reserve of the Scottish people, whose love of the Queen, though no less fervent, does not show itself in bunting and overt celebration, but takes the more austere form of sitting down to watch the Eastenders omnibus.
Tags: current affairs
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