Happy birthday '“ but the drinks aren't on me
If opinion polls are to be believed, the future of our Monarchy is as secure as it has been for a long time.
It may well be some of those seven in 10 adults who believe in the value of the Royal family have been convinced by the emergence of younger Windsors such as Princes Harry and William, not to mention Princess Kate, as the Americans know her. But it is the record breaking Queen herself who has done the most to ensure that we remain a Kingdom for the foreseeable future and millions have had a great time celebrating her feat of endurance with street parties, pop concerts, a flotilla on the River Thames and now a multi-billion pound rail line is to be named in her honour.
It would be reasonable to presume there is nothing else that loyal subjects can do to show their appreciation for Her Maj – well you’d be wrong because we have now been informed that we can get out of our tiny little minds as a show of deference this summer.
It has been decided that, for two nights in June, the pubs will stay open for an extra two hours, until 1am, which may well cheer landlords but is this really the best way 21st Century Britain can show its appreciation? As far as tributes go, this has to be the least impressive in living memory – in 1977 we got special coins to celebrate the Queen’s Silver Jubilee and now, in 2016, all we will get is a stinking hangover, should we so choose.
One can understand the logic behind the move as both England and Wales will be playing their opening matches at European Championships in France, but millions will go for the cheaper option and watch the games on the flatscreen at home.
As a one-time pub-going regular, it does break my heart to see how the industry has struggled against steadily rising bar prices, much cheaper supermarket booze and changing lifestyles. My days of propping up bars have been curtailed by sheer exhaustion and walking up the stairs to bed always trumps the 10-minute stroll to the ‘local’.
A more appropriate birthday treat for the nation could have been free Wi-Fi for the weekend – something from which much of the nation could benefit.
May I wish Her Majesty a very early happy birthday, but the drinks won’t be on me.