You watch the Brits gather around Buckingham Palace on TV with your royalty-obsessed mother for 21 years of your 21 year long life. You understand that there are guards at wear strangely tall and fuzzy hats, and that films always seems to show the same montage of trying to make them smile. You know that the British flag is waved fervently in the crowds when you watch from your couch in the States, and that the Queen waves in a perfectly delicate way. But you don’t really know. No one understands the magnitude of all that is British; all that is royal and all that is Jubilee until one visits.
The Diamond Jubilee, for those of that you have been under a rock, is Her Majesty the Queen’s 60th year on the throne. That precious, perfectly dressed, prim and proper lady is 86 and as graceful as ever. Her smiles during the Jubilee were genuine, her hats perfect and her presence appreciated. And to celebrate this occasion London seemed to stand still. In a proper English manner, the Royal Family celebrated with boat parades, concerts and appearances.
What was beguiling to me, however, were the numbers. Hoards of Brits, faux-Brits and tourists literally filled the streets to the brim. Children stacked on shoulders caused quite the sight obstruction to the shorter ones like myself. Flags waving as if to prove to the Queen that they are patriotic, they do love their country! The atmosphere was bubbling over with Union Jacks, euphoria when the adored Kate was spotted and competition to see above the crowd.
The day was classically English with drizzling, gray rain. The mood, however, was a delightful, energetic one. An overjoyed crowd like this is something that the States could never quite emulate especially for a leader. When I think about how this woman has been the figurehead of a country for 60 years it overwhelms me because my country has never had anything that consistent. My appreciation for taking pride in one’s country has skyrocketed. The morale it provides for a country is insurmountable and valuable. For once I think America could take a lesson.
I also know that regardless if the Queen plays a huge role in government or not, she brings people together. One and a half million people together, to be specific, and that is just in London. She’s sacrificed her entire life for her people, and I saw firsthand that they really and truly appreciated it.