Sunday, September 11, 2022

About the Queen

And so the Queen finally enters Valhalla, not lasting quite long enough to tell us what she thought of Cobra Kai season five. Now is not the time or place to cast aspersions on the late monarch. Whatever you think of the institution itself, she clearly discharged her role with commitment and aplomb; and, in any case, she's someone’s mother, someone’s grandmother and so on. That said, we seem to have entered a moment – with uncomfortable similarities to the period following the death of her daughter-in-law – when those who aren’t swept up in the mood of collective melancholy feel uncomfortable about conducting business as usual. We don’t mock the Queen herself, but surely some of the bloody awful poetry and awkward corporate tweets are fair game? And as for faded celebrities trying to get in the act...

As far as big public events go, it seems that the effective shutdown of normal service at the BBC and other broadcasters when Prince Philip died last year is now rightly seen as overkill; but the laissez-faire attitude from the Palace has led to some anomalies and inconsistencies. So there was cricket, but no football. And we were allowed a few daft game shows on Saturday night, even if they were shunted to BBC2, but not the Last Night of Proms. This last cancellation seems particularly odd; wouldn’t a bit of sentimental flag-waving be just the ticket? And there are precedents. In 2001, the Last Night took place four days after the 9/11 attacks, surely a more brutal shock to the collective system than the passing of a 96-year-old? The mood was a bit more sombre than usual, exemplified by Leonard Slatkin conducting Barber’s Adagio for Strings. And it was beautiful and respectful and wholly right.   

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Spot on