The photograph, Thursday 2 June, of the Royal Family on the balcony of Buckingham Palace will remain as one of the key images of Queen Elizabeth II’s platinum anniversary or her 70 years on the British throne. If fans of the monarchy marvel at seeing the sovereign surrounded by part of her family, keen observers will read much more than a picture of Windsors. The selection of members authorized to act with it is intended to convey a strong message.
As early as 2012, during the Diamond Jubilee, the Queen and Prince Charles had reduced the list of members present to the absolute minimum. By limiting the royal family’s wing, they pursued two goals: to reduce its spending at a time when the country saw itself being imposed by its prime minister, David Cameron, strong budgetary austerity, and to focus attention on the future monarchy embodied by Charles and his wife. Camilla, his grandchildren Harry and William, and the latter’s wife and future queen, Kate.
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This time the message is different. “After careful consideration, the Queen has decided that this year’s traditional parade of the Balcony Guard on Thursday 2 June will be limited to Her Majesty and the members of the Royal Family who are currently performing official public duties on behalf of the Queen.», said a press release from Buckingham Palace, published on 6 May. For Alastair Bruce, specialist in the royal family, “The Palace wants to ensure that we will focus on Her Majesty’s reign and the people who are engaged to her, and that we will not be distracted by all the recent years’ baljam over various members of her family.».
Two important couples
Many foreign viewers will discover or rediscover the faces of Elizabeth II’s daughter, Anne, 71, and her younger brother Edward, 58. Their relative estimates allow them to regularly replace the Sovereign during her national excursions without attracting hordes of paparazzi. They will be accompanied by six cousins of Elizabeth II.
By their side two important couples: Charles and Camilla, William and Kate. The 73-year-old Prince of Wales has long been preparing to succeed his mother, though his image has been tarnished by his painful divorce from his first wife, Lady Di. Extremely popular, William, Duke of Cambridge, represents the bright future of the crown. He owes as much to being the son of the princess of the people as his charitable activities, his attitudes to mental health, to the ivory trade, and so on.
Harry and Andrew, the big absent
His brother, Harry, will be the first major absent from the balcony. Until a small treasure of the British, the Duke of Sussex, 37, has almost become persona non grata since his sensational departure from California with his wife, Meghan, and their decision to no longer be active members of the royal family.
“There was a real rift between the two brothers after Harry and Meghan’s decision to return publicize their family genes and openly and unfairly criticize the royal family »comments Robert Jobson, whose book William at 40 will be released on June 9th. “Harry was looking for his own way, but his method went very wrong. He especially accused William of being a prisoner of his role, and the content of their intimate discussions leaked through a friend of Meghan.”
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The other absent is Andrew, the queen’s third child and second son, the only member of his generation who has not been invited to this solemn performance. This is anything but a surprise. For three years, the Duke of York has been involved in a case of sexual abuse of a minor. Deprived at the beginning of the year of most of his military titles and his charitable patronage, he can no longer use his title of Royal Highness. An exile similar to the one Harry experienced. Except that, given his age, he has little chance of being entitled to redemption. Every dear child of Elizabeth II, he is.
A very festive anniversary
Thursday. Trooping the Color: Soldiers, musicians and horses will parade through central London. Then the Royal Air Force aerobatic patrol, Red Arrows, will fly over Buckingham Palace to close the military parade. The most important members of the royal family will appear on the balcony. In the evening: lighting in Buckingham Palace and across the country, as well as in the Commonwealth’s 54 capitals.
Friday. Thanksgiving Mass in St. Paul’s Cathedral, London.
Saturday. BBC Platinum Party: big concert at Buckingham Palace with around 22,000 people (including 5,000 “necessary workers” during the pandemic).
Sunday. Great parade to pay tribute to the Queen and to the diversity of the British people.