I'm very ambivalent about the Royals. I don't toast them, unless it's embarrassing to do otherwise and I rarely find myself in a situation where, as Irene Ruddock in Alan Bennett's 'A Lady of Letters' more or less puts it, 'I am called upon to do so.'
In 1989 I performed in a scene from a community show, which was watched by the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh, in our local town centre as part of a celebration of 150 years of local government. I painted on a moustache in the hope I might not be recognised. I helped organise a street party for a community project in 1977 and once waved a Union Jack, whilst listening to Land of Hope and Glory at an open air concert with my dad's Lions' group in Kent at some point in the noughties. The latter took place far enough away from home to avoid me being spotted by numerous Republican associates.
I didn't attend any street parties but watched the flotilla of boats float down the Thames on the telly; likewise the concert - which will hopefully not be remembered for Gary Barlow and Cheryl's lamentable duet. The boats looked great and would have been a sight to see no doubt but I really can't get my head around all that cheering.
The Queen, however, seemed as modest and reserved and unassuming as usual
and in this noisy, brash culture in which everyone- myself included
- is keen to more or less publicly share their 'journey', her
inscrutability is a rare thing indeed.
I was rather hoping Paul McCartney would sing this little ditty at the
concert but I guess he may have thought it disrespectful.
I love the beacon lighting. We should do it more often.