I just watched the film ‘The Queen’ starring Helen Mirren, and it made me proud, once again, to be British. Ours is a nation steeped in tradition and strengthened by the face of our Monarchy.
I remember being in the crowd at Buckingham Palace not long after the death of Princess Diana. My sister and I, like so many others, came to pay our respects and leave flowers to honour this lovely woman who served our country so well. Like many others, we also wondered why the Monarchy had not addressed the people. Still, I’ll admit to being a bit of a Conservative about many issues in my homeland. I think the thing we all forgot during that tumultuous time is that the Monarchy were also dealing with a loss.
The treatment Diana received, both during her marriage to the Prince of Wales and after their divorce, was appalling. She deserved respect and should have been allowed the dignity that came so naturally to her. Diana was the People’s Princess, as she was dubbed all those years ago. The Monarchy would have done well to pay their respects sooner after her death. Still, I agree with the stance taken up in the film– the Monarchy had to tend to their own first. Regardless of public opinion towards them, they are a family. They have private lives and private emotions, and they, too, needed space.
The revolutionist climate at that time scared me, and it still does. I think that tearing down the traditions of the British society would mean tearing down the very thing that makes our nation great. I’m an ex-pat, but I still consider myself British. It’s where I was born, where I grew up, and the place I’ll always consider home. There is no greater society. Our Queen is the figurehead of our history, and for better or worse, her lineage is our future. In my humble opinion, that commands respect.
Those who know me personally will likely be a bit shocked by this post, especially given my background, but it’s something I feel strongly about. It’s a bit contradictory to some of my beliefs, but I truly do love the traditions of my heritage and the symbolic representations of my country. The Royal protocol, ceremonies involved in government and societal affairs, and cultural traditions that make Britain the honourable nation it is must be held up in order to keep our society strong. No matter the distance or the time I’ve been away, I will *always* be proud to be British.