Well, I didn’t think I would be, but I was riveted by the Platinum Jubilee celebrations. Okay, so I didn’t make the whole trifle, but I did do the lemon curd Swiss roll and cucumber sandwiches washed down with fizz after watching the trooping of the colour and magnificent flypast. I waved my flag and preserved a copy of that day’s paper to hide under the floorboards for someone to find one day.
We read about Tudor pageants in the history books but this was our very own real-life royal rumble, and I found it quite emotional. I was in London for the Jubilee and the atmosphere was fantastic, and there was a real feeling of being part of history.
This country is very good at running itself down when there is so much to be proud of. We are not perfect by any means, but there are a lot worse places to live and at the heart of that has been the Queen’s reassuring presence through thick and thin.
At the start of her reign, the Queen promised to put her country first and dedicate her life to service. And I don’t think anyone can dispute that she has done that, even in her nineties. When most people have long since given up work, the Queen is still playing a monumental diplomatic role, ploughing through government papers and briefings and attending to matters of state. And we must remember, this was not a role of her choosing – most of us have the luxury of deciding on our path in life.
So, this had me thinking about duty and service, and making the most of the situation we find ourselves in – you know, not concerning ourselves with the “what ifs” of life.
And what resonated so clearly to me was that our very own motto is epitomised by the Queen – you know those three little words on the University College Birmingham crest: Service Before Self. Not a bad edict to follow in life, but I suspect there will be few of us who can uphold those values for 70 years.