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Tony Grist

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63 Years Of What Exactly? [Sep. 9th, 2015|11:54 am]
Tony Grist
She came to our town when I was a child and I lobbied my mother for a football rattle, only to be told it wouldn't be appropriate. That is probably the last time I felt any great enthusiasm for her or any of her family. I have a mental picture of her sweeping by in a waxed black limousine but I suspect it's a false memory.

I'm sorry she's overtaken Victoria. Victoria- or at least the image crafted of her by her spin doctors- stood for something. Elizabeth stands for nothing but continuity and the persistence of the "firm" she belongs to.

There was a fashion in the early years for talk about a New Elizabethan Age. Britten's Gloriana stands as a monument to that. It didn't last. It's not that there have been no great artistic or scientific achievements in her reign- just that none of them seem to have anything much to do with her. The first Elizabeth was surrounded by poets and pirates and magicians- all of them in some sense- working for her.  She was- and made sure she was- at the heart of things. The second Elizabeth isn't. Her court- insofar as we have been allowed to glimpse it- smells of dogs and horses.

For someone who seems to have been painted every day of her life (a slight exaggeration) she'll leave few icons behind. Annigoni managed a couple of ultra-romantic early portraits. After that it was Rolf Harris all the way. I think the enduring image will be the one off the cover of the Sex Pistols album. Or perhaps- because it's worth so much in monetary terms- the portrait by Lucian Freud which shows her with a five o'clock shadow, looking grumpy.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: splodgenoodles
2015-09-09 11:27 am (UTC)
She used to park her boat near our place, and Eldest Brother kept us very amused with reports of her friendly visits for drinks of cordial.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2015-09-09 12:08 pm (UTC)
That will be the Royal Yatch Britannia, I presume.
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[User Picture]From: splodgenoodles
2015-09-09 01:14 pm (UTC)
I presume so, although I was puzzled by the lack of sails. School did walk us down there to wave at her once.
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[User Picture]From: kamomil
2015-09-09 11:38 am (UTC)
Her portrait is on Canadian money. As she aged, they updated the image :P
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2015-09-09 12:10 pm (UTC)
On ours too. The portrait they use on the banknotes must have been made when she was about 50.
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[User Picture]From: resonant
2015-09-12 10:16 pm (UTC)
Her image on the new Canadian 20 looks recent.
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From: artkouros
2015-09-09 12:45 pm (UTC)
Surely she deserves some appreciation for not driving the monarchy into the ditch. It can't have been an easy job.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2015-09-09 02:31 pm (UTC)
Yes, that's essentially her achievement- but as one who would have been happy to see the monarchy driven into the ditch I can't rate it all that highly.
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[User Picture]From: puddleshark
2015-09-09 03:26 pm (UTC)
A figurehead.

Surely cheaper to replace her with one of those wooden ones from that museum you visited recently? A fresh lick of paint every few years and you're good to go for the state opening of Parliament.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2015-09-09 04:11 pm (UTC)
She'd never grow old, be touched by scandal or produce embarrassing offspring. And she'd be very cheap to maintain.

I think you could be on to something.
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[User Picture]From: qatsi
2015-09-09 08:54 pm (UTC)
Machin's image (on stamps since the 1960s and on coins for about 20 years) is something of a design classic.

Edited at 2015-09-09 08:54 pm (UTC)
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2015-09-10 08:26 am (UTC)
I preferred the image they used before that.
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[User Picture]From: davesmusictank
2015-09-09 11:46 pm (UTC)
Being more of a republican in the sense of statehood, not politics, it is about time we had no monarchy.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2015-09-10 08:26 am (UTC)
Yes, indeed!
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