An appeal to the House Of Windsor…
Living in Canada, we are considered a large part of the British Commonwealth. While the notion of being ‘ruled’ and governed over by a monarchy based on winning the genetic lottery is passé, the strong spectre of the British Empire still presides over much of the globe. Not so much in how our governments function but if the recent Canada Day celebrations are anything to go by, then yes… I think it may be safe to say we are just a teeny little bit under the shade of the crown…
However the House Of Windsor (for those not ‘Royalists’ or collectors of Royals biscuit tins) is the ruling house. Our current Queen, Queen Elizabeth the II has tried to be part of this transition from actual rulers to figureheads. Her Majesty has served in WWII as an army truck driver and mechanic. She opted to send her children to school rather than having them have a private education at home. Her son’s first wife, Diana, was known for her charity benefits and it would seem her grandson’s new wife is shaping up in the same direction.
Still, even with the plethora charity that they offer, the fact does still remain that they are royals. Being born into this life in the modern, forward-thinking world contradicts the ingraining that must occur from the moment you are born in the palace. I’m not saying, ‘ooh, poor little rich family’ in the least but there are a few things that I’d like to call attention to:
The Queen currently lives off of a £30 million ‘sovereign grant‘ which is paid for by the British Public.
The British public also paid an additional £1M towards the cost of the diamond jubilee celebrations.
The Department for Culture, Media and Sport, which was responsible for co-ordinating the government’s role in the celebrations, referred the Guardian to the government Olympic communication press office, who appeared to be minding the shop over the long weekend.
“I’m afraid we don’t currently have figures for costs,” said a spokesman. “We’ll only be able to provide accurate figures after the event.”
He stressed the benefits of all the pomp and ceremony. “The Queen’s diamond jubilee is a once-in-a-lifetime celebration for the whole country and commonwealth. But it is also an opportunity to showcase to the world the very best of London and the UK and attract new visitors and investment for the long-term benefit of the country. So it is quite right that government plays its part to help ensure the celebrations are a success.” The culture department has estimated that the extra bank holiday couldcost Britain’s ailing economy £1.2bn.
And don’t even get me started on what other Commonwealth nations have spent on celebrations for events. *cough FUCK HARPER cough*. While I love that we want to celebrate the best of our culture, I’m feeling this is a somewhat roundabout way of doing it: by celebrating the monarchy of a bygone era and perpetuating an outdated method of privilege under the guise of pride and patriotic spirit. The cost of the celebrations and preparations to honour who is, no doubt, a patriot to the bone, is still a very distant figurehead.
I would like to have proposed that the budget for these events be divvied up towards quality of life activities for seniors, after school programs for kids, and arts spaces. I’d have liked to have seen it go towards perhaps even funding the scientists who Harper has been trying to muzzle get their message about regarding potential environmental threats and how we can avoid them and still help our economy.
But I’d like to address the Queen directly on how, as someone who, more or less, it a professional (if royal) welfare recipient, when she gave this quote at her coronation:
“I declare before you all that my whole life, whether it be long or short, shall be devoted to your service and the service of our great imperial family to which we all belong.”
She is the only queen who has celebrated a Diamond Jubiliee other than Queen Victoria, so 60 years. When considered her holdings, her property and her allowance from the British public, I would like to see what someone like David Suzuki could have done in that time with those resources. Elizabeth the II is not a bad person, but ultimately I’m saddened by the the cost of celebrations for just one person when if truly was a patriotic and a lover of her countries, she could have forgone it all and reallocated the funds elsewhere.
However I don’t have that money at my disposal. Not many of us do. But we can, luckily still affect a positive change in our own way….
Because not everyone can be The Queen but they can be royally awesome.
PS: If I see another queen celebrate a 60 year Diamond Jubilee, it’d better fucking be RuPaul.
Little Miss Risk