A week in America | 2 June 2022

As the U.K. celebrates the Queens Jubilee, Martin Liptrot asks if the Monarchy is dated?

Martin Liptrot

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When you live thousands of miles away, you do often wonder if the grass is greener at home?

When I’m up at 7am to watch Lancashire play an exhilarating T20 clash with Yorkshire which goes to the final ball, when you see the jubilation of Everton fans at sneaking a stay of execution in the Premier League or browse Facebook pictures of the lads on their annual Golf Trip thoughts of dear old Blighty bring a tear to even the most cynical of eyes.

Yanks still think highly of us Brits too. They like our heritage and quirky, camp way of speaking. Makes you proud to be British.

But then you dig a little deeper. And this week has revealed many reasons to doubt the UK is anything but verdant.

Don’t get me wrong, the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee is indeed a worthy celebration.

I remember we had a street party in our little neighbourhood when she hit the 25-year mark – jelly, ice cream, bunting across the street and all the neighbours out for a few drinks and a laugh.

It is a justifiable recognition of Her Majesty’s many decades of service, stoic leadership, hands shook, gongs given, and thank-you telegrams and letters written, but it does seem a bit, I don’t know, dated.

I’m not a Royalist in the classic sense, but having lived through the various Reagan, Bush, Clinton, Obama, Trump and Biden Presidencies, I’m not sure an elected head of state gives you anything to really shout about.

This Monarch is perhaps the last of the ones you really respect.

In comparison, her sons and their progeny don’t seem much cop. Charles is a bit of a wet joke and we all liked Diana more than his latest flame, his eldest lad seems ‘nice but dim’ and the younger ginger one is a prize prat which, living over here, we are seeing more and more proof of.

So perhaps this is really a last hurrah and a farewell to the kind of Royals who live in Palaces, wear crowns embedded with stones stolen from far flung lands, and demand shuffling, bowing and curtseying from us common folk.

They say the Queen thinks the world smells of fresh paint, perhaps that will change when Charles, William or whoever take the royal reigns. There are examples of more normal monarchs in The Netherlands and Sweden, for example.

The one I like best is Princess Anne.

She married a horsey, lothario-type but ditched him with little fanfare, then wed a decent seeming bloke and raised two kids who went on to play sport and married near normal people. Well, Mike Tindall.

I think if she was promoted to Head of State we’d all be happier.

But then just when you think you could probably live in a constitutional monarchy again, the politicians step up their game.

That prize idiot who is somehow Prime Minister, really took the biscuit this week.

I awoke to the news that in recognition of the Queen’s 70 years on the throne, The people of Great Britain and Northern Ireland are about to dispose of the entirely logical metric system to re-introduce weights and measures based on the imperial scale.

What? No, surely not?

How does anyone, other than the angriest of Daily Mail reader, believe this is progress.

Being British, we’ve already compromised the old with the new.

I’ve only ever drank pints or halves in pubs, my nags race over furlongs, my Cheeseburger Royale remains a Quarter Pounder, and the motorway speed limit is still seventy miles an hour.

But don’t get us talking about roods, bushels, hundredweights, fathoms or cubits.

I still have no idea how big an acre really is.

And to illustrate the awfulness of this idea, the various broadcasters and media channels I follow have all rocked up in country towns in Salop or such forgotten quarters to talk to aged market stall holders and women with tartan shopping trolleys who steadfastly refuse to have their King Edwards or Granny Smiths in anything but pounds.

Lord help our kids when they discover they are going to be measuring distances in their coming careers in yards – the length of a man’s girdle – or furlongs – the distance a team of oxen can plough in a day without resting.

Obvious really.

And if you needed further evidence that the United Kingdom’s rulers and governors are spending their time proverbially fiddling while the nation burns – this piece of intellectual exceptionalism is occupying the time of the top brass and the pointy headed staff at the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

Yes, the department which presumably is charged with building new Britain, a 21st century tour de force, a global leader in all things commercial is wasting its hours working out how to make our manufacturers, retailers and exporters repackage everything into weights and measures we don’t really need.

Never mind tackling climate change, the need for sustainable fossil fuel supplies, frictionless borders in Ulster and across the channel or helping the nation’s technical, industrial and financial businesses prosper – this is what Boris and his nearest and dearest have prioritised.

The Queen – God Bless Her – must be hitting the Welsh Whisky she is so fond of.

Lions led by Donkeys, indeed.

Martin Liptrot

Martin Liptrot is a Public Affairs, PR and Marketing consultant working with UK, US and Global clients to try and ‘make good ideas happen’.

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