As 2012 draws to a close, we can all take a look back at what has been a fantastic year for the Royal Family. We’ve celebrated a Diamond Jubilee, the announcement of a Royal Baby, sent members of The Firm to ‘represent’ for us overseas, and heartily sung ‘God Save the Queen’ countless times. We’ve lined the streets of London and The Mall in order to catch a glimpse of Royal processions, Trooping the Colour and the State Opening of Parliament. There have been hospital visits and ‘nude’ scandals, not to mention HM the Queen making her infamous grand entrance to the Olympics Opening Ceremony, via a parachute jump with James Bond in tow.
Royal popularity has soared – reported to be at its highest in recent history, with Prince William topping the polls as the Nation’s best-loved Royal (sorry Harry). But what exactly is the cause for all this? Well, 2012 has been a year to celebrate – a year, as Prince Charles put it, that we can ‘all be proud of’. It mattered little that the heavens had opened on the day of the Jubilee River Pageant along the Thames, because, unfazed as we always are by a little (or a lot) of rain, Brits turned out in the their millions to line the banks of the River. Similarly, thousands of people partied outside the Palace, during the Diamond Jubilee Concert, and lined The Mall for the Jubilee Procession & Balcony Appearance the following day.
The Royals have it seems, in the space of one year, become ‘accessible’. In 2012, we were able to celebrate with them – in one resounding ‘Thank You’ to Her Majesty, for 60 years of duty and service. Perhaps it was the moment Prince Charles addressed her as ‘Mummy’ in his Jubilee Speech, or even the picture that spoke a thousand words, of a ‘slimmed down’ Monarchy appearing on the Balcony of Buckingham Palace; but these moments have been significant landmarks in drawing the public and the Monarchy ever closer together.
And yes, the year has not been without a spoonful of Royal ‘scandal’ – we have after all, seen rather a lot more of certain Royals than we perhaps ought to have done. Yes we were all shocked, the Palace was outraged, and you can be sure the Prince Harry probably got a very stern telling-off from ‘Granny’; but everyone needs to let their hair down every once in a while don’t they? So if Harry wants to play ‘strip-Billiards’ in Vegas, or Kate wants to work on her tan by the pool in France, is it really a big deal? Let them ‘sow their wild oats’ as they say. Or in Harry’s case…whole plantations.
And while we all spent the year celebrating Her Majesty’s 60 year reign, she repaid us in dividends, by showing her own sense of humour to the rest of the World. Ask anyone, Brit or otherwise who watched the Olympics Opening Ceremony and the part they will always comment on is the moment the Queen ‘jumped’ from a helicopter, released her Union Jack Parachute, and landed in the Olympic Stadium, all done to the James Bond theme tune. Oh yes, and this was all following a short film with Mr James Bond himself (Daniel Craig) where she delivered her lines, ‘Good evening, Mr Bond’ with all the skill and flair of Meryl Streep. Jolly good show Ma’am.
So, at the end of this Royal Year, it would seem that we can all share in a sense of renewed faith in the British Monarchy. In 1992, the Queen famously declared in a speech that the year had been for her, an ‘annus horribilies’. 20 years on, we wonder what she would make of 2012, the most successful year for the Royal Family in recent history. And what’s in store for 2013? Well you can be sure that the Royals will be back to work all over again, making public appearances and overseas tours. And don’t put the bunting back in the attic just yet, we have a Royal Baby on the way after all – and we all love an excuse to have another Street Party.