Where were the Royals?
I would like to add this comment to the continuous media coverage of the Royal St. John’s Regatta and its much boasted about 200th anniversary this year.
By the time this letter is published (if it is published), the races will be rowed, the winners declared, the cheering crowds sated of their hunger and thirst, and even the cleanup of the litter and mess done (hopefully). Where, however, was the royalty to grace this significant royal year event? The public was led to believe it was highly likely a Royal would be present to honour us with a Royal Presence for the 200th celebration year. Yet no such Royal worthy appeared to watch the races with the hoi polloi of St. John’s.
It would be gratifying to know what efforts were made to secure a Royal Personage to attend the 200th anniversary of this racing event which to any townie — well, most townies — is semi-sacred in the calendar, almost as significant as other noted holidays. Was a committee struck of our political class and other local grandees and celebrities with a mandate to woo a Royal Regatta 200 bound? If not, why not?
The Royal brood has grown significantly of late. Could we not secure even — ahem — a Royal, if not from the A Team then maybe from the B Team or even the C Team? Maybe asking the Queen herself to attend (apparently, she and Prince Philip did attend the Regatta in 1978) was beyond reach, especially as she is very elderly now. Prince Charles and all the other A Team Royals may have better things to do with their time (doubt it, though), but what of the extended Royal Family which has now many members? Surely one of them could have been persuaded to attend our Royal Regatta for a day out of their busy schedules.
I do not in any way blame the hardworking people who bring the Royal Regatta to us every year. They do an outstanding job — especially factoring in the weather variable. It is regrettable that their efforts were not rewarded with the attendance of a Royal Person of Significance. Such a Royal Person would also have attracted international media attention to our Quidi Vidi races.
I lay the blame, if blame is merited, to our political class, who seem to excel only in their ineptitude. After all, they had plenty of time knowing that the 200th anniversary of the Royal Regatta was approaching. I, for one, would like an explanation from some worthy in political office regarding why there was no attendance to our race event by a member of the Royal Family.
Well, the 200th Royal Regatta races are done and dusted. If it turns out the Royal Family simply turned their noses up at attending a mere colonial racing event, then maybe we should return to them the word “Royal” which was incorporated into the name of the St. John’s Regatta in 1993.
If, more likely, the non-attendance is due to the bungling of our political class, then there is another race called an election at which the voter is the judge.
See you at the 201st Quidi Vidi Races — Royal or not — St. John’s! Robin Reid
“The Royal brood has grown significantly of late. Could we not secure even — ahem — a Royal, if not from the A Team then maybe from the B Team or even the C Team?”