Over the past four days, the United Kingdom has been precisely that – united. The reason for this was the celebration of Her Majesty The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.
Beginning with the trooping of the colour and an aerial fly-past over London, then a service of thanksgiving at St Paul’s Cathedral, followed by a huge concert on The Mall and ending with a colourful pageant, this was four days of joy.
The final flourish was the unexpected – though greatly hoped-for – appearance of The Queen on the balcony of Buckingham Palace earlier this evening.
I wonder what our smiling Queen thought as she looked out across the sea of people gathered tightly on The Mall, all there to say ‘thank you’ to her for seventy years of service as our monarch.
And yet, despite the great joy of these days, there has also been a touch of poignancy – as several in the media have observed, this is probably the last time we will see The Queen on that balcony, and certainly the fourth and final jubilee celebration of this reign.
As a nation, we have become very accustomed to our Queen appearing on the balcony as she did today – as a nation, we love to see her and she seems to enjoy seeing all of us, every bit as much.
I wondered if she had a sense of this being the final time, the last wave.
This particular reign, this particular monarch, will be a hard act to follow.
For everything – thank you, Ma’am.