“The Queen is a shining light and Platinum Jubilee was the pick-me-up we all needed” – Saira Khan

Columnist Saira Khan says it was inspirational how the country came together to celebrate the platinum jubilee, adding that the Queen is to be admired for her lifelong commitment to her role

Her Majesty reigns from a gilded cage, says our columnist
Her Majesty reigns in a gilded cage, says our columnist

Royalist or not, you have to admit that this bank holiday weekend is just the pick-me-up we needed.

After years of misery – Brexit, pandemic, war in Ukraine and cost of living crisis – most of us are exhausted.

Still, how our country comes together, celebrates, unites, is proud and inclusive is always very special.

Whether it’s supporting our national football teams, Olympic athletes or the NHS, no other country lives ‘unity’ like we do – we’re the best at uniting when the cause calls for it.

I never met the queen. I don’t particularly like her undemocratic appointment as head of state, the privilege she represents (and that she and her family enjoy), and the history associated with the British monarchy – colonialism in particular.

The country needed a pleasant distraction



But despite all of that, I respect Queen Elizabeth II as a woman because she had to make the ultimate sacrifice: her life to serve the crown and the country.

I often wonder, could I do what the Queen does? pomp, ceremony, rules, etiquette, standards, protocol and so on. For 70 years? Absolutely not, even for all the wealth and privilege that comes with it. It’s a gilded cage.

But she has done a fantastic job of holding her institution together in the midst of adversity. She’s a strong, no-nonsense figurehead for our nation at our toughest and darkest moments, and she always fulfills her role impeccably.

Watched Day 1 of the Platinum Anniversary celebrations with my 76 year old Pakistani mother who is currently in hospital undergoing cancer treatment.

Watching the crowd together, the Queen on the balcony with her family and the flyby brought back special memories of the 1977 Silver Jubilee. I was seven and was given a jubilee coin commemorating what was then 25 years of the Queen’s reign.

My mother became a lifelong fan. Growing up on a council estate in the East Midlands, my immigrant parents used the Queen as a role model for their four children and would always say, ‘Do you think the Queen would eat like this? Dress like this? Talk like that?ā€ We didn’t have a penny to rub against one another, but my father looked to the Queen for manners for his children!

I’ve seen Prime Ministers come and go, but the Queen has always been there in my life and for that reason I feel like she’s a part of it.

And as a mother, I can identify with her and also feel the joy, pain and embarrassment that some of her family members must have caused her.

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I celebrated the Queen’s Jubilee by throwing a party in my garden and bringing family and friends together.

We wore red, white and blue, hung flags with the Union Jack, blared We’ll Meet Again and raised a glass in honor of Queen Elizabeth II.

Cheers ma’am… and thanks for the extra days off!

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Continue reading "The Queen is a shining light and Platinum Jubilee was the pick-me-up we all needed" - Saira Khan

Fry Electronics Team

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