Monday 15 June 2009

Garter Ceremony

I went to the Garter Ceremony today, with a colleague and a few pupils from school. It was a divinely ironic situation for me, as I have absolutely no sympathy for the monarchy or the Queen of England. I am at the core of my heart a staunch republican and I make no mystery of it. I am indeed so much of a republican that I prefer the pope to the Queen. At least the pope got elected, and did not reproduce to give birth to descendants and successors of lesser intelligence. I was therefore amazed that my colleague asked me to be the second adult to accompany the children. Asking a Quebecker, separatist, republican (like many Quebeckers), atheist (although she probably does not know that) to go with a few kids who are all in love with their monarchy (or at least prince William), that was I think a kind and generous offer, so I said yes. It is nice to be accepted and appreciated by some colleagues. It is also nice to be outside on a sunny day.

In any case, it made me see Windsor Castle from the inside. I see it everyday from the outside, and the familiarity of its presence kind of banalized its majesty. It made me see it in a new perspective and made me rediscover its beauty. This is a massive building, built by a man bearing the same name as me, who actually deserved to be king of England, as he rose to power because of his intelligence, not simply because he was born. And I could also appreciate the uniforms of the guards, slightly ridiculous, but not half as silly as the ones the royalties were wearing. They are the supreme power of this nation, and they dress like clowns. Garter Ceremony indeed. I kept those thoughts for myself of course. My colleague still teased me for my republicanism, but it was very friendly. I think native French speakers are considered in this country de facto republicans. Anyway, about the soldiers, one has to admit, in spite of the often ridiculous attire, their discipline was impressive. There was nothing ridiculous in the rough harmony of the military ritual. And I do like the colourful uniforms. Especially the beefeaters uniforms, which I really loved when I was a child anf I first came into England. I associate them more with the gin brand than anything else, but it is still nice to see some in the flesh. Like all the rest this afternoon, in a more flamboyant fashion than all the rest, they are a living anachronism.


The Artful Gypsy aka Wendy the Very Good Witch said...

From one Republican to another...very cool post! Glad you went so you that you could post about it. I've always thought that when I go to England one day, I will care less about the Palace and Big Ben...but I'd want to go get lost in the countryside, go visit Stonehenge and Glastonbury and take photos of quaint villages and over-grown English gardens. :o)

Jazz said...

...they are a living anachronism.

As is the monarchy, as far as I'm concerned.