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Should we celebrate the Diamond Jubilee?

Each week we ask two writers with contrasting opinions to answer the question...


IN KOREA they have Alphabet Day, in Turkmenistan it’s Melon Day, and in Thailand it’s Ploughing Day. These bizarre holidays celebrate a country’s best assets, things that are synonymous with a nation’s pride. The Queen is this and more for us, so why not celebrate?

 The Queen is a woman who has tirelessly worked for 60 years with the best interests of her country at heart. At 85 years old, she is a grandmother, a shining ambassador for the British Isles and an international symbol of dignity and decency.

Crowds of people line the streets to catch a glimpse, which is testament to the great admiration that the general public have for her. Despite her regal position, she speaks to everyman, every day. She’s a taxpayer and is value for money. Each citizen pays only 69p for the royals, a lot less than the £226.5 million the Queen puts into the Treasury every year.

The Queen has done more for international relations with her warmth than politicians could ever do with their words. During her visit to Ireland last year, she laid wreaths and commemorated those who died for Irish independence. Since her visit, newspapers have heralded “a new era for Anglo-Irish relations.” Only she has the presence to do this: unite people through their similarities and despite their differences. And what better way to bring people together than to have a giant party?

Whether they are having a street lunch, watching the pageant or ignoring the whole thing and spending time with their family, the occasion unites people. In the doom and gloom, the Diamond Jubilee will be a sparkling spectacular. The world’s biggest procession of boats on the Thames, superstar music acts at Buckingham Palace and 2,012 beacons lit across the Commonwealth.  

The Diamond Jubilee is about much more than just celebrating the Queen, it is about celebrating who we are as a nation. We can be proud to be British, whatever our cultural heritage – proud of our good humour, our camaraderie and our resilience. Other countries can have their alphabet, melon and plough parties, because this year we’ve got something much more exciting to celebrate.



THE QUEEN’S Diamond Jubilee marks 60 years of the Queen’s reign over the entire Commonwealth. I understand why she must be pretty impressed with her achievement; after all, most of us regular folk probably won’t have stuck at the same job for 60 years. But why should this be an achievement she expects us all to celebrate? Quite frankly, I do not care that the Queen has been on the throne for so long. It makes no difference to me.

The idea of celebrating the Diamond Jubilee is supposed to bring the country together, and yes, it is wonderful when neighbourhoods get together, but celebrating the Diamond Jubilee is no way to do this.

The royal family should represent British culture and a modern way of life, but they still live as they did hundreds of years ago. We are an extremely diverse country with vastly different ideas on how life should be lived, and with hugely differing standards of living.  The Queen is so out of touch with most citizens in this country that a celebration is most likely going to divide communities, not unite them.

The Queen lives in palaces whilst a lot of us live in council flats. Even the relatively rich members of society pale in comparison to the wealth of the royal family. Why should we want to celebrate such a gratuitous display of hereditary wealth?  

You would think people have forgotten just how much poverty still exists in this country. So many people are losing their jobs and homes, and public sector cuts are affecting us all, yet millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money is being pumped into the royal family each year whilst they live in the utmost luxury.

It is fantastic that the Queen has managed to keep her job whilst millions have been made redundant from theirs, but I somehow don’t think the 2.67 million jobless people in the UK will be in a party mood.

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