Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education

 You are in: Talking Point
Front Page 
UK Politics 
Talking Point 
In Depth 

Commonwealth Games 2002

BBC Sport

BBC Weather

Wednesday, 30 January, 2002, 14:04 GMT
The Queen's Golden Jubilee: Will you be celebrating?
The Government is facing calls to subsidise street parties for the Queen's Golden Jubilee amid fears that costly red tape could make the event a flop.

A survey carried out by The Times newspaper has shown that only a handful of parties have so far been planned around the UK.

Meanwhile a second study by BBC Wales has found that only five of the 22 local authorities in Wales are so far planning events to mark the Queen's accession to the throne.

This is in contrast to the Silver Jubilee in 1977 when millions turned out on the streets to celebrate.

Insurance costs and the need to obtain planning permission to close roads have been cited as possible deterrents.

Are you looking forward to the Queen's Golden Jubilee? Will there be street parties and other celebratory events in your area?

This Talking Point has now closed. Read a selection of your comments below

Considering all the bad news coming out of Britain nowadays I should think you'd be glad to have something to celebrate. The atmosphere at the 1977 Jubilee was much more positive. I really can't understand why the British have such a negative attitude towards their own culture.
Zack, Austria formerly UK

Wow - what bitterness and ignorance! The Queen does not run the country, that is down to the self obsessed politicians. She IS a very effective sales weapon and "brand" for the UK - look at all the tourist dollars we would loose not to mention the loss in earning for the tabloids if we didn┐t have a monarchy. My only problem is the lack of interest of the media - it will be up to them in the end whether it's a success or not.
Bob, England

I won't be celebrating this queen's Jubilee because I no longer have any respect her: she is grossly out of touch with the wishes of the British people, as demonstrated at the time of Diana's funeral. She also appears to be bored or even angry at most of her public engagements. Had it been the Queen Mother's, Diana's or Charles' Golden Jubilee, I would certainly have celebrated.
Martin, England

I feel that the monarchy have had their days of glory and with global politics the Queen has very little impact
Chris Hannant, UK

What's to celebrate? The monarchy is an outdated system, which is upheld by a group of immoral and amoral people who wish to remain a part of an elitist society. As a post-war child I was raised to kow-tow to such people before I became old enough to realize how wrong the system is. SO what's to celebrate in any case the Royal family is hardly an example of a happy functional family is it?
Susan, USA/UK

The Crown is what defines Britain. Why are you so ashamed of it?

Charles Everson, USA
It's really quite sad that you Brits have such an identity crisis. The Crown is what defines Britain. Why are you so ashamed of it? It gives your country such prestige and a true historical continuity. Something we youngsters across the sea don't have. Even when one doesn't particularly like the current president, Americans honour their president. Period. For God's sake, why won't you honour your Queen?
Charles Everson, United States

I'm not ashamed to say I'm as British as they come, nor that I love the Royal Family and the history which they stand for. I don't feel the need to label myself as some pathetic victim of Norman oppression simply because I am from a nation ruled by an ancient and proud monarchy. I for one will definitely be celebrating - I'm back home to do so. God bless the Queen!
AJ, NZ (Orig Co. Durham)

Yes, why should we reject our culture and traditions that make us stand out from the rest of Europe? Every time we give up a part our heritage to "fit in" with EU regulation, Great Britain becomes just that little bit less "Great"!
Joe Q, England

The Queen is 75 and looks a picture of health with her life of immense privilege, all the assistance she has ever needed and access to first-class health care whenever she needed it. My mother is also 75 but in a nursing home after a lifetime of hard graft and bringing up three children in the fifties and sixties on a very low income and with poor health care. The Queen didn't make any difference to my parents' generation and she hasn't done anything for mine.
John, UK

We had a street party and received a special coin

Gerrard Fagbemi, London, England
WHY do so many British people feel so embarrassed at celebrating a national event like the Golden Jubilee? For example the Dutch nation celebrates the birthday of their Queen EVERY year. I remember the Silver Jubilee of 1977, I was 10 years old and we had a street party and received a special coin (which I later lost). My friends and I had a great time not only at the party but all the other festivals organised during 1977. I was born in London but my parents are from Lagos, Nigeria and Belfast, Northern Ireland. My parents' nations always celebrate national holidays i.e. Independence Day and St Patrick's Day. I think the Queen has given 50 years of great service and the British nation should pay her the respect of celebrating her Golden Jubilee. Hopefully it will give the children of today a great day of fun and good memories for the future.
Gerrard Fagbemi, London, England

Personally, I'll be staying in bed watching videos and eating crisps but if anyone comes into my room and runs a Union Jack up a flagpole, I'll certainly salute it. God Bless You, Ma'am.
Paul N, UK

I am disgusted by the various comments above. Have you no national pride left? The Queen has served us very well and is still a powerful focus for Britain abroad. God save the Queen!!
Tim S, UK

I'm coming home specifically for the Jubilee

You bet I'll be celebrating. I'm coming home specifically for the Jubilee. And all those miserable 'humbugs' criticising the monarchy - you won't realise what you've got till it's gone. Sounds like you are the ones who need to party the most. You toast your President Blair and his "first family" if you want, I'll stick with the Queen. Cheers everybody and Long Live The Queen!!!

I think it's great that we are having a party of the Royal Family. Maybe this will encourage Caroline Aherne to write more episodes..... my arse!
Rob, The West Country

June 3 just happens to be my birthday so I will be celebrating anyway! I'm not a monarchist but might just raise my glass to the Queen to thank her for getting me the day off!
Jane, UK

Such money would be better spent on research into a more democratic way of governing our state

G. Morgan, Wales
I fundamentally object to any part of my taxes going to subsidise any form of Jubilee celebrations. As we enter the 21st Century it seems bewildering to me that people are willing to celebrate the fact that we are governed by an unelected horse-trainer. Such money would be better spent on research into a more democratic way of governing our state.
G. Morgan, Wales

I will proudly celebrate Her Majesty's 50 years of service. In a world of change for change's sake, she has the good sense to remain fresh and current, while maintaining what is good in the old and traditional. Let's all join in the worldwide party! The Commonwealth needs to join in as well.
Ed, Canada

Those who want to celebrate should do so and those who don't should not, surely it's that simple. I don't dislike the Queen, nor do I like her, I've never met the woman so I am in no position to judge.
Chris, Wales

My girlfriend and I, along with our families and friends will be celebrating the Jubilee. The Queen has dedicated her life to this country and the Commonwealth and I for one commend her for that. God Save the Queen!
Philip Shorter, England

The only God Save the Queen we'll be singing will be the Sex Pistols song.

Mike Parker, England
In '77 I followed the trend and proudly displayed the Union Flag on my car. The scandals that have plagued the Royals since have made me and many of Her Majesty's subjects question the validity of the monarchy. What reason is there to celebrate her reign? If she really ruled we would have been spared the tyranny of Thatcher and she, not Blair, would have been globe-trotting in the name of peace. Like many I will be taking advantage of the extra day off work to enjoy myself with friends without labelling it a Jubilee celebration. The only God Save the Queen we'll be singing will be the Sex Pistols song.
Mike Parker, England

Lets face it. If the Scots, the Irish or the Welsh had their own monarch, they would celebrate like no tomorrow. Once again the English and indeed Britain as a whole is being made to feel ashamed of its heritage. If people in Scotland, Wales and Ireland are so against the monarchy, then maybe we should just give up and grant them full independence. At least that way we wouldn┐t be subsiding them anymore. Can we not just celebrate something just for once without all of the bitchiness?
Darren, England

Street parties are a thing of the past. They looked anachronistic and out of place in 1977. Surely somebody can come up with something a little more up-to-date?
Pete B, UK

We are all aged between 21-27, and we will be organising a huge event to celebrate the golden jubilee... I resent these "trendy" idiots, saying all young people despise the monarchy, these people are very narrow, and need to look beyond their own group of friends. By the way, a quarter of our group are Aussies, so looks like not all Aussies hate them either!
Oliver, England

The Queen acts as a diplomat, a patron of the arts, and as a focus of international attention.

Russ Moore, UK
The Monarch is the keystone of our democratic mechanisms. She is our guardian and our lookout, and Her presence is fundamental in keeping party politics in order. Sworn commitment to these mechanisms is what keeps our politicians in line - without it, parliament might well collapse into anarchy. Furthermore, the Queen acts as a diplomat, a patron of the arts, and as a focus of international attention.

I am proud of our Queen, I acknowledge Her service to us for all these years, and I am glad to be a loyal subject. I'll certainly be celebrating Her Majesty's Golden Jubilee. Those who talk about leaving the country on this historic occasion should do so, and needn't come back.
Russ Moore, UK

We held a street party 25 years ago to celebrate the Queen's Silver Jubilee. I still live in the same street, as do most of the people who attended this party, so we will definitely be holding another to celebrate the Golden Jubilee. Long live our noble Queen!
Cathy Harrison, England

Why should we celebrate someone who is at the pinnacle of everything that's rotten about our society. Royalty and its lower neighbours should be confined to the waste bin of history. The monarchy is sexist, prejudiced against all other religions bar CofE and totally out of touch with modern day life in the UK.
Ian Bridge, England

That we actually debate this is sad in itself. Have a party anyway - you never know we might even enjoy ourselves! It doesn't matter a stuff whether you are a royalist or not - chill out everyone. Look to the Caribbean for a role model of how life should be played out.
Mike, England

Live it up and celebrate who you are without looking over your shoulder or feeling embarrassed. Elizabeth has shouldered the responsibility of the monarchy admirably and, I sense, at a considerable cost to her own happiness. Give the gal a break. Fifty years is a long time to do what she has done without cracking up.
Faye, USA

The monarch is the head of state in my country, and thus we should celebrate her Jubilee.

Chris Hawes, Great Britain
The monarch is the head of state in my country, and thus we should celebrate her Jubilee. Its just that as a nation we have become lazy and incompetent and with a government who blatantly disregards the monarchy, that we have little chance to express our beliefs. The current government is the most republican since Oliver Cromwell.
Chris Hawes, Great Britain

Unlike Chris Ward who will be enjoying the extra day off, I have put down to work, enjoying the double time Bank Holiday pay. Viva la Revolution!
Mike Naylor, England

I bet all these anti-monarchists will still be enjoying the extra bank holiday!!
Chris Ward, UK

What is there to celebrate? The Royal Family is an embarrassing anachronism which helps prop up the wretched class system in this country. When we become a Republic, I will gladly take part in a street party. The Queen has got nothing to do with me or my life.
Allan Forrester, UK

Golden JCB would be more appropriate

Chris B, England
No point in planning a party in my street. It spends most of its time being dug up by one utility company, before being resurfaced just in time for the next crowd to arrive and rip it all up again. Golden Jubilee? Golden JCB would be more appropriate. Anyone partying in this road is quite likely to find themselves asphalted into it.
Chris B, England

If anyone applies for planning permission to block my street for a pro-monarchy party then I shall oppose it. If these people want to celebrate an anti-democracy anniversary then let them do so in private.
Charles Moore, Scotland

Although the monarchy is an anachronism, Queen Elizabeth II has done her duty exceptionally well for what it is worth. She deserves a tribute to mark 50 years of a difficult job well done. Then, please, let's get serious.
Ian King, New Zealand

I wish I was going to be there

Christopher Laird, Japan
A lot of the bitterness contained in some of the comments here identifies the NEED for people to get out and let their hair down! Here is the perfect chance, so get out, have a party, and enjoy the company of your friends and neighbours. I wish I was going to be there (and I'm definitely not a fan of the Royals).
Christopher Laird, Japan

I remember the Jubilee parties of 1977 and think there should be every effort made to celebrate the Golden Jubilee in the same way. Celebrating the Queen's Jubilee is as important to the United Kingdom as Americans celebrating independence because it is a statement defining the way the country is run and the way people live. Of all the countries in the world the UK is one of if not the most respected and it is partially because we have a constitutional monarchy that we get this respect. I'd encourage the government to waive the rules about blocking off streets and let the citizens of the UK be sensible by blocking their road off with cones whilst they have their street party.
Gavin Pearson, English in Detroit, USA

I would be happy to celebrate! As long as the Queen foots the bill..
Robert Kidd, Australia

I think most people will celebrate quietly in the privacy of their own houses

David Hazel, UK
I think there are a number of factors that will combine to make this Jubilee less enthusiastically celebrated than the one in 1977 was. Firstly, the monarchy has suffered many years of media antagonism, making fewer people want to stick their heads over the parapet and admit to supporting it. Secondly, there are the issues of liability insurance and red tape. Thirdly, people these days generally live more pressured lives than 25 years ago and fewer of us have the time to organise street parties. Also, since we now seem to commute much longer distances to work and therefore are less likely to work alongside people from our own neighbourhoods, fewer people know enough people in their street to want to organise a street party. I think most people will celebrate quietly in the privacy of their own houses rather than put up with the amount of organising and the potential for trouble from hooligans that a street party would incur.
David Hazel, UK

Spending taxpayers' money on such a celebration is repulsive to me. Let her have a service at Westminster with her chums and a couple of processions through London for the tourists but please don't force it on the rest of us. I'm glad I will be away for it.
Malcolm Fairbairn, Belgium

Same plan as 77: a 'Stuff the Jubilee' party.
Sean, UK

What a load of miseries you all are!

George, UK
What a load of miseries you all are! We all observe New Year which is a totally arbitrary reason to celebrate so why not celebrate for a real reason like 50 years of stable reign and prosperity. Long live the Queen I say!
George, UK

I shall be celebrating having an extra day off work. Thanks Queenie!

I remember the 1977 Silver Jubilee when the whole of our street held a children's party. I will spend the extra Bank Holiday at home; maybe toast the Queen but not anything else.
Colin Bartlett, UK

Why not? It's a day off to get on the lash! Cheers Liz!
Fraser, Essex, England

It's almost as if we have to apologise for any celebration of our national identity and national achievements

John, UK
How very sad, and how very typical of present-day Britain, that an important national event like the Golden Jubilee has such a low profile. It's almost as if we have to apologise for any celebration of our national identity and national achievements. In sociological jargon, we as a country would benefit from very much higher self-esteem. Marking 50 years of unstinting service by Queen Elizabeth is one way of showing this.
John, UK

It must be confusing and embarrassing to be British. Worse still, a continuing downward spiral is not a predicament you can work your way out of.
Tom, Australia

We are organising a caravan rally for that weekend where we will have a party for the kids. It seems that many of the people submitting to this forum would rather see Britain run by an elected president, and we can all see with America that this will reduce all the scandals and problems! There are very few monarchs left in this world, I am proud that Britain has one of them.
Ian Thomas, England

I'm looking forward to the parties, and celebrating our country's past and future, and the achievement of one of the world's longest-serving and most respected heads of state.
Russell, UK

Although street parties are not common in Canada, we are looking forward to a glorious royal visit in October. Our first event is in less than two weeks: an Accession Day Evensong in Toronto's Anglican Cathedral, to be held long before the Queen visits our dominion. A commemorative stamp has already been issued by the Canadian post office. Her Majesty has served the UK and the Commonwealth very well for 50 years. Long may she reign!
David Brain, Canada

I will celebrate on behalf of those Britons who do not want to celebrate. I like the Queen and wish she could be the Queen of Finland too.
Mikko Toivonen, Finland

I shall be raising a glass to wish her long life and good health

John Brownlee, England
Insofar as the Queen has provided a much needed element of stability in this country during the turmoil of the last half of the 20th century and, given the lacklustre performance of most of her heirs, I shall be raising a glass to wish her long life and good health and hope she remains for another 25 years as monarch.
John Brownlee, England

I am amazed at people who criticise the Queen who seems to have done her best in a very difficult job. I see a person, another human being, who has had to suffer much as the hopes she had for her children, like so many of her generation, have turned out to be dashed. No other person, not even politicians, has had to endure such constant hostile press reporting over such a long period and not had the power to answer back. I could have not have done the job as well and neither could most of her critics. Maybe her Jubilee will make the UK sit up and look at itself and see what a nasty load of backstabbers with not a good word for anyone that we've all become over the last 50 years.
Anthony, England

Why should I celebrate an institution that is still explicitly discriminatory against Catholics? The Act of Settlement, 1701, prevents a Catholic ascending the throne and forbids the heir to the throne marrying a Catholic. Since when was religious discrimination worth celebrating?
Martin, England, UK

I am firmly of the belief that when the Queen passes away she will take our monarchy with her. None of her heirs, with the possible exception of Anne, have shown themselves worthy of taking over from her. She herself has to shoulder some of the blame for the failure of her children to live up to what is required of them but in reality it has been the changing face of society in general which has brought about their demise. If there are going to be celebrations this year they might be more appropriately done in the form of wakes!
Shaun, Teignmouth, UK

The Queen has to ask herself why people don't seem too bothered about the Jubilee

Chris, UK
The monarchy's inability, or refusal, to shed hundreds of years of royal protocol has led to this situation. Let's face it; on the whole the Royals are not popular. Their ability to change into a modern monarchy is the biggest challenge they face. The Swedish royals are incredibly popular, because they are seen to be more ordinary. Our Royal Family are seen as distant, stuffy and elitist. I am pro-monarchy, but unless they make a real effort to change (getting rid of the 'hangers-on' would be a start) my opinions may quickly change. The Queen has to ask herself why people don't seem too bothered about the Jubilee.
Chris, UK

I am sick of hearing people criticising the Royal Family in general and the Queen in particular. They are HUMAN. I can give you three good reasons why we should not have a republic:

1. President Heath
2. President Thatcher
3. President Blair

God Save the Queen!
Steve Wade, UK

Where there is a will there is a way. I know my mother and others in the small village where she lives in Wiltshire are already ironing the bunting and organising the raffle. I, on the other hand, being the anti-monarchy devil daughter, am going to probably celebrate by taking a long weekend - in another country.
Wendy, UK

Any excuse to party is good enough for me. I think it will be quite comical to see all those people who "don't really like the Queen" getting very merry and shouting, "God save the Queen". The monarchy is part of our heritage and traditions. It would be a shame to get rid of them because they are all that makes this country different from the 100 other carbon copy democracies based on the American model.
James Clarke, UK

If the monarchy is to survive, it needs to command respect

Steve Cahill, England
Thinking back 25 years to the Silver Jubilee, the Queen was still a respected figurehead and a good foreign ambassador for this country. Of her children, Anne was (apparently) happily married, Charles was living a blameless bachelor's life, Andrew and Edward were little more than children. A generation on, and their collective antics, along with their free-loading partners, have caused nothing but embarrassment and outrage. If the monarchy is to survive, it needs to command respect. Why should I pay homage to a regime that behaves so appallingly as to anger, rather than endear itself to, the population?
Steve Cahill, England

Personally, I refuse to celebrate anything to do with the monarchy and will therefore be going to work on the 3rd of June. I urge anyone who believes that this country should be a democracy to do the same.
Jim, UK

This country suffers from red tape in too many walks of life

Jon Cooper, UK
Petty regulations may stop many parties. Apparently you need to have been on a health and safety approved course to be legally allowed to put cones in the road these days, and these courses cost quite a lot of money considering they are somewhat farcical. This country suffers from red tape in too many walks of life. We really are a depressing nation of jobsworths or at least there seem to be enough people who love rulebooks and have no flexibility or common sense.
Jon Cooper, UK

Of course I will be celebrating, Her Majesty is the Queen of England. 50 years on the throne is an achievement to be proud of.
Mike, England

Regarding the comment by Mike that Her Majesty is the Queen of England, does that mean that as I'm Scottish, I can get a refund of my taxes that were ploughed into the monarchy?
Stan, Scotland

Mike in England: why is 50 years on the throne an achievement to be proud of? What has she done in that time, apart from staying alive and waving to a few people?
Graham, UK

I am trying to get as far away from it as possible and flying to Hong Kong.
Paul Atkins, UK

The only time I ever see Her Majesty is for her annual message, going to Sandringham church for services plus attending the odd funeral, all of which is on TV. She's as remote to me as she is to the average Australian. I am still pro monarchy, but have better things to do that day.
Alex Banks, UK

No, she means nothing to me and I don't see that her being on the throne for 50 years has any particular relevance to me in the slightest.
Tom O'D, UK

Internet links:

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Talking Point stories