A personal viewpoint
Queen Elizabeth II has ruled the UK and its sovereign lands since 1952. This blogger was born in Yorkshire in the UK in 1952, a little before the Queen came to the throne. The Queen's father had died about a month earlier so in truth she was the Queen in all but the ceremony and pomp.
The weekend of June 2, 3, 4 and 5, 2012 the Queen"s Diamond Jubilee was celebrated. Since then we have had the Queen's 90th birthday celebration keeping the British Royal Family nicely in the spotlight when it suits.
The Queen has had a long and reasonably successful reign. Whilst this blogger is no Royalist she has to admit that if we have to continue with a Royal Family this edition is not too bad.
Well my Mum and Dad would turn over in their graves, as they say. Both were firm Royalists. Dad was a veteran of World War Two and literally fought for King and Country.
Both parents thought the British Royals were all the cliches such as worth their weight in gold, worked hard, had a divine right to rule and so on. As children we listened to the Queen's speech at Christmas firstly on the radio and inevitably on our fifties television. Standing for the National Anthem was just the done thing.
Some younger parents were starting to let these standards slip though, even in the fifties.
Our parents were classed as old to have kids back then. Aged early thirties they were way past their sell by date as far as breeding went at thta time. The War however meant that my parents were not alone. Others who had lost partners in the War were starting out again.
Somewhere along the line, in the sixties or early seventies, standing for the National Anthem became something of a a joke. As movies ended in the cinema there was a rush for the exit before the Anthem was played. When Dad was still alive we would be the last ones standing, so to speak. In the end playing the National Anthem at the end of a cinema showing was scrapped.
This was true of TV scheduling also.
At one time each day's viewing ended with the National Anthem and those so inclined would stand up even in their own homes.Some would even sing along but times changes.
I can still remember Mum, my brother and I excitedly waiting at the side of a road in our town, with hundreds of others, for the Queen's chauffeur driven car to pass by. It was a fleeting glimpse but well worth the effort. I resplendent with red, white and blue ribbons in my hair believed Mum when she said the Queen smiled straight at me. But my brother and I were very young children.
Those rebellious days of the sixties and seventies had no place for the Royals. Well they did not for us. They were part of the establishment.
In 1977 the Queen's Silver Jubilee was celebrated while jobs were being lost left, right and centre. It was rather like today. Hubby proudly wore his "fight the cuts, stuff the jubilee badge" much to the disgust of many. He would be tutted at but when you are young sometimes that is the desired effect, isn't it?
Though my sentiments have mellowed with time I still favour a Republic.
Those who loved the Diamond Jubilee celebrations good luck to you. The Queen will presumably work in the same post until she drops.
Many ordinary people however will be lucky to gain any employment during their lives.
My Royalist parents died in their fifties well before their time. Hard work and more had taken its toll. No soft option or bevvy of servants for them.
The Jubilee eventually brought back some memories even though we did not watch any of the events. It was hard to avoid all of it though as UK TV aired 24/7 coverage.
Brainwashing of citizens? Could be but that did not work on me and many others.
64 years is a long time and much has happened during that time in the UK and the World. Positives and negatives have changed our lives. The current recession and possible BRexit woes will not touch the likes of Queen Elizabeth and her entourage though.
The lead image is a Coronation Party in 1953. Although the Queen had ruled for 60 years in 2012 she was not officially crowned until June 1953. I was 15 months old and my brother was 3-years-old. Our street's Coronation Party was held in a part of our town that no longer exists; until the mid seventies, when it was finally demolished, our street had numerous bomb sites. Bombies where we would play.
Just about everyone was dressed in fancy dress for this "do". Brother and I were last minute party-goers due to a family bereavement and our young age. The blob in the front is me. 15-months-old with those red, white and blue ribbons again. Brother is in the far left corner.
Street parties back then were friendly affairs and all joined in. The food and drink was tame compared to now. Cheap and cheerful you could say. It was at a time when sweets were still on ration following the war and not a time of plenty.
The 2012 Diamond Jubilee, royal marriages and births, have all helped breed a new generation of Royalists. Now the Queen and Philip are ageing they are viewed as sweet almost grand parent figures. For many people the prospect of Wills and Kate taking over appeals. That is not liable to happen though.
The Diamond Jubilee was carefully stage managed to lift the people during a time of austerity. The cost was kept secret.
There is much worse to come in the near future than the current austerity and that could include another war. During such times the Monarchy want to know their people are behind them. It would seem that the vast majority are, at least for now.
Please note: The main image is around two foot long and a foot deep. This means that a fair section has been omitted. That part has suffered some water damage. For many years it hung in a huge frame until this was broken.