There’s a rather misanthropic button on The Guardian homepage that dams the flood of coverage on the Queen’s jubilee celebration in London. Click on “Republican?” and it’s as if more than a million people didn’t stand in the rain on the banks of the Thames yesterday to watch ol’ Liz float on by.
Few — even among Guardian readers — will click on it.
The paper commissioned a poll last month that tested the support of the monarchy. Some 69% of Britons think the country would be worse off without the royals; just 22% supported offing their heads. That puts support for her reign at 15-year highs.
The problem for republicans — and a tiny anti-monarchy rally in London today was trampled by royal revellers — is the Queen seems, well, quite nice (despite her more boorish clan). Resilient; stiff-upper-lip and all that. Points for longevity, at least, if not practicality.
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In Australia we seem to have reached the socially polite position of waiting until she drops off the perch before proceeding to cut the cord to the motherland. And she looked far too spritely on her river cruise yesterday to contemplate that.
So we’ll leave the final word to The Guardian, in its leader today:
“It’s a pity about the rain, because the event — and the Queen — deserved better. It was a colourful occasion on a grey day. It was full of spirit. But whether the nation which it affected to embody actually exists is another matter. Meanwhile, in Syria …”