Whenever I have seen a State Occasion, it has made me very proud to be British.
The sight of the Queen in a gold plated horse drawn carriage, escorted by a regiment of the Household Cavalry wearing thigh high leather boots, silver breast plates and plumage has made me feel rather patriotic.
However, I felt very uncomfortable watching this year’s State Opening of Parliament. The only thing I could think of was how can this country afford to do this?
Thousands of public sector workers are being made to work longer before they retire or are being made redundant; publicly funded charitable organisations are being closed down; the public’s safety is being threatened by town centre CCTV systems being switched off and so on. There is an imbalance in the austerity cuts because we are not all in this together, as is so often claimed by the Prime Minister, David Cameron.
The pomp and circumstance surrounding the Queen’s Speech has become an unnecessary and expensive fancy dress farce. This country does not need a Royal Bargemaster to help carry royal regalia, nor Heralds, Blackrod or a Lord Chancellor dressed in breeches. Serjeants at Arms carrying gold maces and the fawning Lord Chamberlain would not have looked amiss in a Monty Python sketch.
I won’t be holding my breath but the next five years of cuts to be imposed on this country, should scale down on the expensive ceremonial deployments of sections of our armed forces. Do we really need a Queen’s Life Guard or dare I say it, even the Red Arrows?
Foreign visitors will still flock to this country to see our historic sights even if the Royal ceremonial pageantry disappeared. Its time for the London based ‘Establishment’ to realise that the British Empire has ended and to stop living in the past. The Queen is 89 years old and whilst I would regard myself as a loyal subject, I consider it likely my allegiances to the royal family will decline upon her death.
The future of our country does not lie in the past and I am of the view that a subservient system that maintains fairytale birthright titles of Kings, Queens, Princes and Princesses is not fit for purpose.
I never thought I would say it, but regrettably it’s approaching the time for the Royal family and its supporting establishment to be axed by the austerity cuts.