At first glance, this is a bombastic celebration for a queen, but it already looks a bit like a pompous farewell to a queen of records. On Saturday, the third day of the Queen’s 70th Jubilee, there will be a horse race and a star mega-concert at Buckingham Palace. The heir to the throne, Prince Charles and his son, Prince William, want to pay tribute to the Queen with speeches, as reported in the British media.
The two-and-a-half-hour spectacle in front of Buckingham Palace is the culmination of the third day of the anniversary celebration. American singers Alicia Keys and Diana Ross as well as British bands Duran Duran and Queen will perform. In the morning it was considered unlikely that the Queen would see the ceremony in her honor live in the palace. The 96-year-old canceled her participation in a thanksgiving service in her honor on Friday, as well as her participation in the horse race near London scheduled for Saturday afternoon. The monarch has recently repeatedly canceled his appointments due to mobility problems. Her daughter, Princess Anna, was to replace her on the racetrack.
In total, for four days the country has fallen into a royal frenzy, almost everyone with rank and surname attend the celebrations, millions of British people across the country cheer their 96-year-old monarch. But if you look closely, it becomes clear that not all Brits are involved. And opponents of the royal family hope that the royal celebrations will be followed by a colossal hangover after the monarchy.
Most people in the country do not celebrate the “jubilee,” said Graham Smith of the anti-monarchist organization Republic of the German Press Agency. He referred to a survey commissioned by the Republic to the Yougov survey institute. Only 11 percent. expressed a very great interest, and another 32 percent. “Enough” interest. On the other hand, 29 percent were “not very” and another 25 percent were “not” interested. After all, many people would especially enjoy a long weekend.
Understandably, the “Jubilee” will be the Queen’s last major performance. The head of state made three public appearances, especially at the beginning, smiling and clearly in a good mood. But the day was exhausting for the queen, it was heard. The monarch was absent from the thanksgiving mass at St. Paweł, as in Saturday’s horse races – faith and horses, along with the family, are its most important cornerstones.
The Queen is increasingly represented by her eldest son, Prince Charles, and grandson, Prince William. Royals experts comment that she wants to put things in order and show that her successors are trusted. But critics like Smith are confident that the impending change of throne will lead to a historic turning point. “For most people, monarchy and queen are the same thing,” said the activist. Therefore, he hopes that the end of the queen will also herald the end of the monarchy.
Demographic development seems to speak for opponents of the royal family. Over 60 percent of Britons continue to support this institution. But that number has dropped a good ten points since Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee in 2012. It is striking that support decreases the younger the respondents are. In the 18–24 age group, opponents and supporters are almost equal, each around a third.
Smith hopes support for her much less popular son Charles will continue to decline if polls continue to decline while the Queen was quite popular. Both the heir to the throne and William are irrelevant to the people. “The chances that (William’s son) George will ever sit on the throne are quite slim.
Smith rejects the arguments of the supporters of the monarchy, including the economic ones. Spending hundreds of millions of pounds a year on taxes is worthless. Tourists kept coming and taking pictures of the palaces. “It doesn’t matter if there is a monarchy,” says Smith. Moreover, royals are neither democratically elected nor transparent in their actions. Instead, scandals such as accusations of abuse against the Queen’s son, Prince Andrew, produced a bad image.
Critics say the Queen’s role as the unifying force of Britain is no longer effective. During the weekend, the family traveled all over the country: daughter Anne to Scotland, grandson William to Wales, and youngest son Edward to Northern Ireland. But it goes without saying that the country is more divided than it has been in a long time. In Scotland, many people strive for independence. Glasgow City Council has refused to spend any money on the “Jubilee” celebrations. In Northern Ireland, for the first time, the party supporting reunification with the Republic of Ireland, which is part of the EU, received the most votes.
The Queen said nothing about the collapsing Union or the rising cost of living that could plunge millions into poverty. “There is no politics” is its iron rule. When the Queen – or her son Charles, as she recently did – reads a government program written for her by Downing Street, it feels more like folklore given centuries-old rituals, chic uniforms, and white wigs. Activists like Smith believe such images will soon be history.
A look at the Commonwealth of the States also gives them hope. At the end of 2021, the Caribbean Barbados declared itself a republic, and Jamaica is also implementing similar plans. The new Australian government wants to prepare a referendum in the medium term. All Australians must be allowed to become head of state, cabinet member Matt Thistlethwaite said to UK news agency PA.
In Canada, opponents of the monarchy also gain. A poll conducted by the Angus Reid Institute in April found that 51 percent. he wants to change the form of government. “Today we are a multicultural society whose colonial ties to Britain are a distant relic,” columnist Bob Hepburn recently commented on the Toronto Star. The monarchy is “funny in a modern country.”