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Wednesday 20 April 2011

View From the Street...

The shops are filled with memorabilia: Union Jack scarves, tee-shirts emblazoned with the royals crest, tasteful glasses and tacky crockery. There is red, white and blue bunting, dotted with pictures of William and Kate, in the shopping centres; and the pubs are advertising all kinds of deals with screens in the beer gardens for the 29th April. With St. George’s Day approaching and Easter being late this year, there’s a whole series of Bank Holidays coming together, making the working weeks much shorter, and we have amazingly beautiful weather for April – the cherry blossom is out everywhere and the bluebells are beginning to bloom!

Like the rest of the world, Britain is going through a recession engineered by bankers and the shady groups who hide in the shadows. Bread and circuses might seem like the order of the day to some of those who wish to keep us in line with the programme but there is something deeper here in this Royal wedding than simply being appeased with a few street parties and a set of souvenirs.

Is it a strange coincidence that we are having so beautiful a Spring? Britain’s climate is so unpredictable and often so wet that even way back in history the Roman invaders hated being here and the Normans didn’t think much better of it. For the past few years, winters have been extremely long and summers have been virtually non-existent - a couple of sunny days in June and that’s it. As soon as the sun appears the mood changes. We’re no longer the buttoned-up people with stiff upper lips, but the friendly, happy people who hurry out at the first possible opportunity to savour the sun!

It is pretty amazing, though, that throughout my lifetime the loveliest summers and the brightest days have always coincided with royal occasions. I was at school in 1977 when the Queen and the whole country celebrated the Silver Jubilee. We were all
given souvenir mugs and hurried to watch the Queen drive by as she toured the country. In 1981, I recall the Union Jacks in windows for the wedding of Prince Charles and the then ‘Lady’ Diana, and the warmth of those summer evenings. Again, 2002 and the Queen’s Golden Jubilee...warm summer days, the flags, the coming together, the feeling of a country united.
Now, 2011...a wonderfully warm spring; a handsome prince and a real love-match...Our Royal Family obviously doesn’t control the weather, but they certainly raise the mood of the country...and somehow that mood is repeatedly reflected in the weather.

This is so wonderful a time for England/Great Britain. An estimated two billion viewers from all over the world will watch the wedding ceremony, which has also led to so many more hotels bookings, thriving businesses, generating huge amounts of income and providing many people with more work. Pubs (which have been closing down all over the place since the EU directed smoking ban) will prosper on the day. Prince William and Kate asked that people who wish to send gifts, send money instead to their charity, which has already received huge amounts in donations.

Above all, though, this wedding is drawing people together with the great love and appreciation we feel for the traditions of our country and who we really are, which is reflected in our Royal Family who somehow – regardless of their individual foibles – personify the finest spirit and aspirations of this country....and provide us with a wonderful excuse for a jolly good party and fun!!

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