The Wedding

Ok: honesty time. I am a ‘lazy Republican’ (c : I have not sung the National Anthem (1st verse) for about 30 years. Yes I know the arguments for holding the nation together, giving a national lead, bringing trade in etc etc, but they don’t cut it for me.If only some of the other verses were sung more frequently:-

Not in this land alone
But be God’s mercies known
From shore to shore
Lord make the nations see
That men should brothers be
And form one family
The wide world over

Lord let wars’ tempest cease;
Fold the whole world in peace
Under thy wings.
Make all the nations one;
All hearts beneath the sun;
Till Thou shalt reign alone;
Great King of Kings.

That is not to say that I wish the couple any ill today: I don’t. I hope it works out and like any couple in the public eye that it will bless others. But royalty and more particularLy the sycophantic praise that comes from some quarters….no thanks…leave me out….

What I have noticed this time is that the desire for communal celebration: street parties etc has declined considerably. If people are going to celebrate today, it has become privatised: in front of the TV or parties with those we know. I can remember a street party for the silver jubilee (1977), big interest (but few parties) for Charles and Diana but after that, very little (I lived in Wales for the Golden Jubillee- I can remember an 8 hour walk in the Carneddau, but not much else. North Wales often has a paradoxical relationship with what is seen as ‘English’ royalty).

I am wondering if this day says more about us as a nation: amongst the below 60s a ‘flight from deference’, a reluctance to act communally and a fear/antipathy to those outside of our work/family/friendship groups.

Mostly today I will ignore the events on TV, although my mother in law with whom I am staying is a royalist. I won’t, as I hinted sardonically to some friends, be lounging on the village green playing ‘God Save the Queen’ by the Sex Pistols….