A right royal republican

I’m a republican. I don’t believe birth should entitle you, or restrain you, to a position. (I realise that even without hereditary royal titles, many positions of power in many countries, including Australia and the U.S., are “handed down” through families and everyone does not have the same opportunities and chances. But still a greater chance than becoming royal.)

I would vote, and did vote in the referendum, for a republic. 

But I love the royal family. 

What can I say! I embrace contradictions, welcome inherent dichotomy. 

Hence on the only cold day we faced in London so far, I stood on a traffic island while madness of crowds thickened on the footpaths; buses and trucks drove perilously close, as in centimetres to me; and protestors chanted. 

Why? Because it was Commonwealth Day. I know! Who knew? Dar, did you? Or you, Fiona? We’re all from the Commonwealth. 

OK, it wasn’t the celebration of the Commonwealth that attracted me this chilly London day but that the Queen would be attending.

So who drove by my lucky spot? First cavalcade was the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. Next up was Prince Charles and Camilla. Then the Queen and Prince Phillip. 

Yes, I saw the Queen and the next two in line. And partners. 

Strangely thrilling. Aided by the peeling of Westminster Abbey bells. 

I have video of it all. 

But can’t work out how to upload from my phone. So here’s some screen shots. Being the first video footage on my phone, the one of the Cambridges is the worst as I didn’t think to zoom. But know in real life, I had a good sticky. 

Then we decamped for a couple of pints. Which the bobby beside us on the traffic island thought a better choice than royal watching. An opinion definitely shared by Mr S. 

After two pints, my back also agreed. It was aching but the pain ceased to register. 



8 thoughts on “A right royal republican

  1. I didn’t know ‘Commonwealth Day’ was a thing – I can’t remember it ever receiving much publicity here.

    I would totally line up to see the Queen and Royal Co. though. How many people have lived in the public eye with such a long and arduous career as the Queen? A career thrust upon her against her wishes to begin with. And I can’t ignore the Queenly Hair!

    Love the history and ceremony of it all. Hope you are both having the best time ever 🙂

    • Having an amazing time! Mr S doesn’t know how we will be able to return to work. But I will hold onto the knowledge that work will afford me more trips such as these. (Oh, yes, and knowing I am making a difference in the world. Lol.)

  2. Nope, never heard of Commonwealth Day! We do celebrate Victoria Day, though, which is in honour of the Queen’s birthday (although in a different month: Queen Victoria’s birthday was May 24 and Queen Elizabeth’s is April 21). Like you I can’t defend the monarchy but I love the Royal Family and especially the Queen. I went to see a public appearance by the Queen in Canada many years ago but I was out of the country the last time she was here! So, I would definitely have stood by the street in London as you did.

    • We have Queen’s Birthday public holiday too. We hold it in June. It doesn’t move if the monarch changes. Apparently we also use to celebrate Empire Day which morphed into Commonwealth Day. But again, that day wasn’t in March.

  3. I am pretty sure they used to celebrate Commonwealth Day back in the dark ages, like when our parents were at school. Or was that Empire Day? Hilarious that they celebrate this in the UK, but nowhere else in the Commonwealth. It seems a bit desperate!

    • I thought it sounded a bit desperate too. Kinda like hanging onto their glorious position as rulers of the empire. But then maybe it is throwing a bone to appease us, given we get nothing else, even having to take longer through customs.

      But then seeing how seriously it is taken as a celebration of diversity, maybe it is like Harmony Day which many schools celebrate in Australia?!?

  4. Though Americans are taught (and I’m sure brainwashed by some standards) to look down on royals in general and love democracy, there are still plenty of people who follow the royal family – and they’re often part of the entertainment report when I catch the news on the radio. I’d stand outside to see them too.

    • Their antics can be entertaining!

      I think every country has a following or worshipping of celebrities based on things as pointless as birth. And as to the power of individuals in democracy, Joe Bagnel’s writing posits some interesting counterpoints.

      Was worth the cold to see the Royals, though. If not just for the story when I get home.

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