The Queen’s Jubilee

June 5th, 2012 at 1:00 pm by David Farrar

The British High Commission hosted a breakfast function this morning for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee at the High Commissioner’s Homewood residence in Karori. It is a beautiful property and grounds – well worth visiting if you are ever invited.

A few people gently hassled me about why a member of the Republican Movement Council would attend a function for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. My answer was firstly that I want New Zealand, not the United Kingdom, to become a republic. So I’m very happy to acknowledge the service of QEII as Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Putting aside the political and constitutional issues, I also have no problem respecting her incredible devotion to duty.  Even at age 86 she still spends much of her time with public duties. She has served as patron to 600 charities, and has toured over 250 countries. These are not sightseeing trips, but working trips.

With the exception of the death of Diana, she has basically not put a step wrong in 60 years of the throne – a serious achievement considering the huge proportion of time she has spent under public scrutiny. If you have to have a monarchy, then the British one is a pretty good one to have (even though Princess Madeleine of Sweden remains my favourite!).

If the Queen lives to the same age as her mother, she will make her platinum jubilee in ten years time, and maybe even her a 75th jubilee also.

Of course poor Prince Charles himself will be 78 in 15 year times, and even Prince William will be 45. With life expectancy for those with excellent health care often making 100, it may mean in future most monarchs will not ascend to the throne until they are around 70. This is one of the issues around keeping a job until death!

Tags: ,

23 Responses to “The Queen’s Jubilee”

  1. East Wellington Superhero (1,151 comments) says:

    What struck me with the events over the weekend is the global unity – with genuine diversity – that exists within the Commonwealth. Of course there are some perennial differences between Commonwealth countries but these are small in comparison. The UN – an organisation that to me is a ‘pretender to the crown’ of the global unity of humanity – doesn’t even come close. In a world where many preach about the need for ‘the world to be one’ I think the Commonwealth is underrated.

    Plus everyone loves the bling and magic of royalty. Who lines up to see some greasy politician or UN hack?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  2. East Wellington Superhero (1,151 comments) says:

    I also note that the Princess Elizabeth served in WW2 (albeit in a safe behind the lines support role – Women’s Auxiliary Territorial Service) and that Charles and his sons have served in the armed forces. Most ‘democratically elected’ politicians today come from almost as much privilege as British royalty and most have only served themselves and their ambition.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  3. graham (2,211 comments) says:

    Very true, EWS. And Harry served on the front line in the Afghan War, but was pulled out when it was revealed in a magazine. He was deeply disappointed when he was not allowed to serve in Iraq.

    And Prince Andrew was involved in the Falklands War. The British Government wanted him moved to a desk job for the duration of the conflict, but The Queen insisted that her son be allowed to remain with his ship. So Prince Andrew served as a helicopter co-pilot.

    I think the Royal Family has served their country far more than they are given credit for.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  4. mikenmild (8,778 comments) says:

    And Prince Philip, decorated combat veteran of WWII and for 60 years now an Admiral of the Fleet in the Royal New Zealand Navy, a Field Marshal in the New Zealand Army and Marshal of the Royal New Zealand air Force.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  5. Manolo (12,622 comments) says:

    Just come clean, DPF: you went for the free food and drink! :D

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  6. East Wellington Superhero (1,151 comments) says:

    @ Manolo

    Yes, we all knew that. But it’s a bit rude to say it out loud.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  7. graham (2,211 comments) says:

    Oooh, Manolo! I see 1000 demerits coming your way.

    And I though Prince Philip had the gift of putting his foot in his mouth!

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  8. DRBASS (10 comments) says:

    @dpf – even as a republican you can honour her position until she is no longer our head of state. Wanting change doesn’t have to make you treasonous!

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  9. KiwiGreg (3,129 comments) says:

    @EWS IIRC she drove an ambulance in London during the blitz so not super safe. She was also smokin’ when she was young :)

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  10. tvb (3,938 comments) says:

    I did not realize she smoked at one stage but then people did in those days. I wonder when she gave up or has she.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  11. simonway (356 comments) says:

    My answer was firstly that I want New Zealand, not the United Kingdom, to become a republic.

    Apart from the whole “It’s none of my business because I don’t live there” thing, what is your opinion of UK republicanism, or republicanism in general in other countries? I’d certainly like to see the UK become a republic, even though I’ve never even been there.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  12. graham (2,211 comments) says:

    I can understand why people would like New Zealand to become a republic (although I don’t), but the UK? One thing I love about Britain is the history they have, and the royal family is an integral part of that history. For the UK to become a republic would be for them to essentially deny that part of their history.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  13. DavidR (102 comments) says:

    tvb,

    I think KiwiGreg didn’t mean smoking cigarettes, but ‘smoking Hot’ (and she was!) In her day, HM would leave Diana for dead. Oops!

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  14. simonway (356 comments) says:

    For the UK to become a republic would be for them to essentially deny that part of their history.

    Not really. Now, if they changed all the history books so that all the references to the country ever being a monarchy were removed, that would be denying part of their history. Tell me, do you think that allowing Charles to eventually ascend to the throne is “essentially” denying the part of their history where they were ruled by Elizabeth II? Honestly, your idea that “changing from X to Y is essentially the same as denying that X ever occurred” completely baffles me, and I’m not sure why it wouldn’t apply to any sort of change ever (I could leave the house this morning, but that would essentially be denying that I ever lived there).

    I’d like to see the UK be a republic because hereditary monarchy is antithetical to the principle of equality before the law.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  15. Positan (377 comments) says:

    The most signal advantage in having a monarch and not a republic is the fact that our sovereign is also the head of our law. In holding that position, even though she plays no part in our lawmaking whatsoever, it is effectively denied to anyone else.

    In a republic, the president would be automatically the head of the law – which circumstance, when one considers the possible influences of his/her political outlook/stance/position and the controls on the office thereby necessitated, falls considerably short of our tried and trusted present arrangement.

    The weakness of a republic is that a president is to an extent inflicted with “kingly” powers and, no matter what the “safeguards,” there’s always the possibility of previously undreamt-of-happenings actually occurring.

    We’ve been bloody lucky with our system and sharing our royals as we do, part time from the Poms, they cost us a fraction of what we’d otherwise have to put up to fund and keep a president with all the expected trappings of his/her office.

    By what screaming lack of sanity would we ever want to change?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  16. David Garrett (5,120 comments) says:

    Mikey: It is a continuing source of warm fuzzy feelings in my tummy that you came to Kiwiblog a raving leftie…not quite as callow as the aptly self named “Fishboy” or as doctrinaire as the brainwashed “Yoza” but close…and now you express admiration for Prince Philip’s service in WW II as part of the greatest generation…truly a testament to your open mind, and the persuasive abilities of the regular posters here…

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  17. mikenmild (8,778 comments) says:

    David
    My views have not changed really. I wouldn’t call myself a ‘raving leftie’, but I’m sure that you and I still have much to disagree about.
    Re Prince Philip, I was just checking and believe that for his combined 180 years’ service in the NZ armed forces he should really be wearing the NZ Armed Forces Award with 11 clasps. But he probably doesn’t need any more medals.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  18. Pauleastbay (5,030 comments) says:

    As they say about people in Wellington, half the town will turn out for the opening of the letter if there’s free piss and food

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  19. East Wellington Superhero (1,151 comments) says:

    “I’d like to see the UK be a republic because hereditary monarchy is antithetical to the principle of equality before the law.”

    Blah blah blah. Typical one-sided republican envy/faux-progressive complaining. First of all, many republics give their presidents immunity from prosecution due their tenure. Further to that, civil leaders also give out pardons e.g. Nixon. At least a monarchy is under a greater lens than some slimy lefty future president with fifth columnists on their side.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  20. Mary Rose (392 comments) says:

    >“I’d like to see the UK be a republic because hereditary monarchy is antithetical to the principle of equality before the law.”

    DIdn’t people try it a few hundred years ago? Chopping a king’s head off to show they meant it.
    Few years of Oliver Cromwell and they couldn’t wait to have a monarchy again ;-)

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  21. alex (298 comments) says:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2012/jun/04/jubilee-pageant-unemployed

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  22. mikenmild (8,778 comments) says:

    When First Lord of the Admiralty, Winston Churchill wished to name a new battleship after Oliver Cromwell. Perhaps unsurprisingly, George V refused.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  23. Paulus (2,295 comments) says:

    I am not sure that the Queen had anything to do with the death of Diana.
    Perhaps know something we do not.
    Diana was a ruthless attention seeking ……… woman – sorry she died, but, get real, and keep the Queen out of her death.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.