Turn off the beacons, lower the platform, raise the banners. The party is over.
After four days of parades, street parties and a concert celebrating the 70th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II’s accession to the throne, the platinum jubilee celebrations ended on Sunday with the Queen waving from Buckingham Palace and crowds outside singing “God Save the Queen”.
But as the homage to Elizabeth II’s tenure in service began to fade, Britain was left with the fact that the second Elizabethan era was at its climax.
The 96-year-old monarch, who has been chained in recent months by what the palace calls “occasional commuting issues,” only appeared three times to the public during the jubilee. Her son and heir, 73-year-old Prince Charles, has stood in her place on other occasions.
“Inevitably, we’re going to lose it at some point. So that’s going to be kind of the tail end of the golden era, right?” Historian and royal biographer Hugo Vickers told The Associated Press.
That fact was the implicit content of the weekend’s events, as newspapers, television screens and even palace walls were filled with images of Elizabeth II transforming from a glamorous young queen in a tiara and diamonds to a cosmopolitan grandmother known for her omnipresent handbag and her love for her. Horses and dogs.
Elizabeth II is the longest-reigning monarch in the United Kingdom, and is the only female sovereign most people have ever known.
Longevity generated a deep affection for the Queen. The question for the Windsor family is whether the audience will pass on these sentiments to Charles when the time comes.
From the opening of the military parade to the closing contest outside the palace, the royal family has sought to build an argument for this continuity, emphasizing the historical traditions of the monarchy and its role as a unifying institution that helps the country celebrate its successes and provides comfort in times of sorrow.
Charles was front and center the whole time standing next to his mother.
Dressed in a festive crimson jacket and bearskin hat, soldiers paraded during the Queen’s Birthday Parade on Thursday. The next day, the last guest entered St. Paul’s Cathedral and sat at the front of the chapel to give a mass of thanks in honor of the Queen. At the star-studded concert on Saturday in front of Buckingham Palace, he gave the main salute to the woman he addressed as “Your Majesty, Mother.”
The royals know they have work to do. Over the past year, the monarchy has been battered by allegations of racism and bullying, a sex scandal involving Prince Andrew and a demand for them to apologize for Britain’s historic role in enslaving millions of Africans.
But if the Windsors are to prove the enduring popularity of all things royal, they need look no further than the tens of thousands who have thronged the streets and parks around Buckingham Palace to cheer, wave the Union flag and say “Thank you, madam” for the past four days.
Royal historian Ed Owens said demonstrations of popular support were critical to the monarchy’s survival.
said Owens, author of The Family Firm: Monarchy, Mass Media and The British Public 1932-1953. “All of these events play into the role of the British public… The Jubilee is as much a celebration of the British people of the British nation as it is of the Queen herself.”
Since assuming the throne after her father’s death on February 6, 1952, Elizabeth II has been a symbol of stability as Britain negotiated the end of the empire, the dawn of the Information Age, and mass immigration that transformed the country into a multicultural nation. the society.
Throughout it all, the Queen built a relationship with the nation through a seemingly endless series of public appearances as she opened dedicated libraries and hospitals and bestowed honors on deserving citizens.
Carried away from the glittering state events and military parades that caught the attention of the media, actor and writer Stephen Fry captured this stint of service as he delivered his homage during Saturday night’s Jubilee Gala outside Buckingham Palace.
“How many local sewage works has Her Majesty inaugurated with a radiant smile? How many panels have been unveiled? How many trees have been planted? How many strips have been cut, ships launched?” asked Frey with a chuckle from the crowd. “How many prime ministers are allowed? For this alone, no admiration is large enough.”
While they would like to see more of the Queen, fans like Anne Middleton, 61, seem to understand the limitations of her health issues.
Middleton, a human resources executive, flew to London from her home in Wales for a long weekend. Wearing red, white, and blue nail polish and a dress covered in the Union and Welsh flags, she and her friends watched the Saturday party from camp chairs in St James’s Park.
“We wanted to go out and tell her we were there for her too,” Middleton said. “Because she has always been there for us.”
The Queen’s public appearances during the Jubilee were brief but symbolic, underlining the three pillars of her reign: a personal relationship with the public, strong ties with the armed forces, and support for the Commonwealth, a group of 54 countries with former colonial relations with Britain.
On Thursday afternoon, she joined other prominent members of the royal family on the balcony of Buckingham Palace to watch 70 military aircraft fly by and wave to supporters who filled the street below. Later, she participated in the Lighthouse Lighting Ceremony at Windsor Castle, the culmination of the event that spread to the Commonwealth countries.
The weekend concluded with another balcony appearance for the jubilant crowd, this time accompanied by Prince Charles and his wife and Prince William, his wife and children.
The message could not be clearer: here is the present and future of the monarchy.
Robert Lacey, royal historian and advisor to the Netflix series “The Crown,” believes the royal family’s relationship with the British people will continue.
“There is magic about royalty. If you don’t care to accept it, it’s up to you.
He said: “But for many Britons, the magical moment[is]when the Queen or Prince Charles … appears in your neighbourhood. I am touched by a fascination – no longer divine, but representative of society – which says, ‘You are important and you are part of a bigger picture. community, community.”