This year of significant anniversaries, for the young and old generations of the royal family, presents a good opportunity to examine young people’s and students’ relationships with the historical institution of the British Monarchy.
Discussion on TSR revealed whether students consider the Diamond Jubilee celebrations part of a time-honoured royal tradition or view such conventions as all pomp and of no circumstance.
With two notable royal anniversaries falling this year, ‘Kate and Wills’ first year paper wedding anniversary which they celebrated last month, and the Queen’s imminent diamond anniversary of her 60-year reign, members on The Student Room responded to the thread ‘Will you be celebrating the Queens Diamond Jubilee Bank Holiday?, to discuss whether or not they intend to participate in the festivities, and in either case, what they’re plans are for the four-day long bank holiday weekend.
‘I’m having a barbeque to celebrate … ‘ / ’No chance, i’m a Republican’
Both the comments and the results of the poll showed that students are divided on this issue. Those embracing it are planning to engage in a right royal knees up by attending or hosting garden parties, a ‘Big Jubilee Lunch’ celebration, or even travelling to London to really be a part of the celebrations.
‘I was drawn from the public ballot so will be one of the 10,000 members of the public attending’
- Travelling down to London to get into the spirit of the festivities (10.81%)
‘I’m camping down in London for the Thames pageant and the Jubilee concert- didn’t get tickets in the ballot so going to have a picnic on St. James’s park’
- Having a garden party at home / Going to a garden party (8.11%)
‘Yep…i’ve booked the local community centre and am going to throw a massive party with everyone in my community invited. I’ve even brought a brand spanking new suit for the occasion.’
- Organising / Attending a ‘Big Lunch’ Celebration (2.70%)
‘Nope, why should I really?’
Others who feel more frown than crown about the occasion plan to treat it like any other weekend, in some cases even taking steps to avoid any possible coverage of the celebrations which may bring them discomfort in their own home.
‘Everything that I do on a normal day, except watch the news.’
- Nothing special, its just another weekend in my opinion (51.35%)
‘What is there to celebrate? Well done on staying alive this long, Liz… I do appreciate the day off though, and I’ll probably spend it watching films.’
Some of those reluctant to embrace the celebrations did concede gratitude for the holiday time, however, those most explicitly adverse to the proceedings refused to give any ground and expressed great distaste for the monarchical system on the whole.
‘I agree, not much to celebrate? Just another year of tax money being spent to house a racist and super rich monarchy.’
‘… the general idea of a monarchy is pretty racist in itself. White Protestant with hereditary power and wealth.’
- Working / Studying (24.32%)
‘On half term and have finished exams so yeah. Why not?!’
Unfortunately for some, its more trial than jubilation because they don’t have a choice in the matter and their work or study commitments must prevail.
‘i’ll be celebrating with some patriotic revision’
‘My work are treating it as a normal working day.’
- Spending time with friends/family 2.70%
‘Perhaps I’ll watch it on the telly. I love the Queen and all, but farting about on my computer might seem more enticing. Only time will tell.’
Those that do have the time off and are neither vehemently opposed nor appeased by the premise for the bank holiday are just planning to make the most of the long weekend, spending it with friends, family, or even a favoured band.
‘On the 3rd I’m going to Nottingham to see Pulled Apart By Horses.’