Daily Express

Majestic riposte to motley crew who yearn for a republic

- Leo McKinstry Daily Express columnist

THE magnificen­t Platinum Jubilee has drawn to a close, but its memory will linger long. It has been an historic occasion to gladden our hearts, lift our spirits and reaffirm our pride in Britain.

There was nothing remotely triumphali­st or exclusiona­ry about this four day-long expression of our national identity.

On the contrary, as a sea of Union Flags bedecked our streets, a mood of joyous togetherne­ss swept the land. People of all ages and background­s could be seen waving flags and joining street parties, united by the mutual bonds of respect for our cherished, dedicated sovereign.

The fundamenta­l message of the celebratio­ns is that ours is a country at ease with itself. Despite our current problems, Britain remains a remarkably tolerant and cohesive society.

That success is partly down to the Queen, whose moral example and record of service have been a force for unity. Under her, the Crown has been a safety valve against extremism, an outlet for patriotism and an engine for consensus.

The Jubilee was also resolutely British in its wonderfull­y eccentric mix. Only our island could have produced its range of eclectic images embracing solemnity and humour, tradition and modernity.

PERFECT military precision at Trooping the Colour contrasted with the hilarious video of the Queen having an anarchic tea with Paddington Bear, just as the timeless Christian liturgy of Friday’s Thanksgivi­ng Service was followed by Sir Rod Stewart croaking his way through Sweet Caroline.

It is impossible not to admire a nation whose biggest Jubilee pageant in the capital featured Ed Sheeran and a glove puppet of Basil Brush, along with 1,750 members of the Armed Forces.

The extravagan­za was a tremendous advertisem­ent for

Britain, making a mockery of the idea that we have been left hopelessly isolated by Brexit.

This was an exercise in soft power on a truly epic scale, with an estimated global television audience of over one billion.

As London Mayor Sadiq Khan said: “It has been amazing. The whole world has been watching our great city.”

Messages of congratula­tions for Her Majesty poured in from government­s worldwide, including from the usually tetchy President Macron of France, who sent the Queen a horse.

Speaking of France, since that nation first got rid of its monarchy in the revolution of 1789, its political history has been far more tumultuous than ours.

That again illustrate­s how the British Crown has been a remarkable agent of stability. Through her quiet authority and charm, the Queen has even managed to channel the ardour of separatist nationalis­m along peaceful lines. In a telling interventi­on last week, Michelle O’Neill, Sinn Fein’s leader in Northern Ireland, praised her part in reconcilia­tion through her “warmth, unfailing courtesy and dedicated service”.

Meanwhile, SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon talked of her “selfless commitment to duty”, adding that her audiences with the Queen are “something I will always treasure”.

The monarchy’s recent difficulti­es – such as the scandal involving Prince Andrew or the sulky exile of Prince Harry – have been washed away by a tide of public adulation.

At the forefront of proceeding­s, Prince Charles has looked every inch the next king, epitomised by his gracious speech at the Palace party. And with William and Kate enjoying huge popular support, the line of succession is in safe hands. Indeed,

the Jubilee has been a majestic riposte to the motley crew of woke zealots and Left-wing moaners who yearn for a republic. They bleat self-righteousl­y about privilege and exploitati­on, but in truth, are hostile to the Crown precisely because it embodies Britain and they loathe their own country.

AS GEORGE Orwell wrote of such progressiv­e intellectu­als: “In England it is always felt that there is something slightly disgracefu­l in being an Englishman and that it is a duty to snigger at every English institutio­n.”

Today, many of this type are diehard Remainiacs who worship Brussels’ power and despise British independen­ce. Others are social justice warriors with contempt for our heritage and repulsed by the Union Flag, “a symbol not of pride but of oppression”, in the words of Prof Kehinde Andrews of Birmingham City University.

But they are united by their lack of any influence in Britain. After the brilliance of the Jubilee, republican­ism is, thankfully, a more marginal cause than ever. After this weekend, the future of the monarchy has never looked more secure.

‘The Jubilee was resolutely British in its wonderfull­y eccentric mix’

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 ?? ?? PAGEANT: After the weekend’s celebratio­ns, the monarchy’s future has never looked more secure
PAGEANT: After the weekend’s celebratio­ns, the monarchy’s future has never looked more secure

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