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MORAG LINDSAY: Why this woke lefty will be raising a glass to the Platinum Jubilee

Pupils at Letham Primary in Angus held a Platinum Jubilee Party. Photo: Kim Cessford/DCT Media.
Pupils at Letham Primary in Angus held a Platinum Jubilee Party. Photo: Kim Cessford/DCT Media.

It was the middle of the week before I had my first sighting of Platinum Jubilee bunting in the wild in Scotland.

A plastic blast of red, white and blue, flapping on the rails outside the primary school.

A few more have materialised since then. The odd shop nailing its colours to the mast. One or two houses even.

But outwardly it’s fair to say the celebrations for the Queen’s 70 years on the throne got off to a slow start here.

I think we got there in the end though.

Platinum Jubilee stories have been among the best read on The Courier website as the week’s gone on.

Last night they lit one of the beacons in the public park up the road, and all week we’ve been reporting on Platinum Jubilee picnics, parades and street parties across Tayside and Fife.

As a fully signed-up, card-carrying, woke lefty, I should be horrified by it all.

But after two summers when fun was officially off the cards I’m not about to begrudge anyone a bit of flag waving.

Platinum Jubilee: Scotland v England

There are plenty who do, of course.

And compared to south of the border, our jubilations are certainly on the muffled side.

A pal sent me photos from his visit to England last week. Bunting as far as the eye could see. Murals of the Queen on the pub wall behind him. A whole town out of its mind on monarchy.

On Thursday I listened to the people being interviewed on the pavement outside Buckingham Palace (where they’d spent the night sleeping in readiness for the Trooping of the Colour).

Crowds outside Buckingham Palace on Thursday – a contrast to the excitement levels in Scotland. Photo: Aaron Chown/PA Wire.

They sounded like aliens from another era.

And I didn’t hear any Scots among them.

But I did walk behind a couple of little kids on their way to school the other morning.

They had red and blue streaks in their hair and they were carrying containers filled with sponge cake and muffins for their Platinum Jubilee baking competition.

They puffed up with pride when I admired their creations. And I wondered how much they’ve been longing to let their red and blue hair down after two years when they weren’t allowed a sports day or a Christmas concert.

Same village, my second jubilee

There’s a Platinum Jubilee party in the park on Saturday and a family disco in the village hall at night.

And it reminds me of the Silver Jubilee when I was their age and living in this same village.

We had a street party too. I’ve still got my china mug.

And, like the current pupils, we buried a time capsule, which, to my knowledge, is still in the ground.

And I don’t think I was indoctrinated into becoming a proto-royalist at any of these events.

My brother was there for all of those activities too and he’d Anne Boleyn the lot of them tomorrow.

I just remember a really nice summer.

Well we all need somewhere to keep our harmonicas.

I dare say it was the same for most of us at school in 1977.

And I dare say it’ll be the same for a lot of the people celebrating today.

Royal relationship status: it’s complicated

My relationship with the royal family is complicated.

My politics and my instincts are firmly on the side of equality and the defeat of inherited privilege.

And yet I can’t resist the soap opera of it all.

I sometimes wonder if the dream ticket would be following them from the sidelines of another country?

All of the drama with none of the responsibility for their upkeep.

And like a lot of people, more so people of my vintage, I just like the Queen.

A VIP guest at the Platinum Jubilee beacon lighting ceremony in East Haven. Photo: Gareth Jennings/DCTMedia.

She’s a very old lady who committed to something as a very young woman, and has spent the last 70 years doing what she said she would.

And that constancy is why my feelings for the Queen are tied up in all kinds of other sentiments.

I watched the royal weddings with my mum and my grandma.

I gave my nanny (yeah that’s what we called my other gran, we’re not royalty) a calendar with the Queen on every Christmas. And it’s her I think about when I watch the Queen’s Speech now.

Last crack at a Platinum Jubilee – come on Scotland, we can do this

Like I say, it’s complicated.

And it doesn’t extend to the rest of her family.

The royal family on the Buckingham Palace balcony for the Platinum Jubilee.

And I do think there will have to be a reckoning when the Queen is no longer here.

But whatever the future holds, the thing we’re celebrating this weekend is probably never going to come round again.

Prince Charles won’t rack up another 70 years. Prince William’s unlikely to manage it without staggering advances in cryogenics.

And it’s happening after two years when it often felt like we had very little to celebrate at all.

So if people want to get a bit giddy on patriotism, nostalgia or plain old respect for a 96-year-old widow in failing health, I say ‘have the time of your lives’.

I won’t be stretching to Platinum Jubilee bunting, but I will be raising a glass.