Date: Mon 16th January 2012
This year, in June, we will celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee year, certainly a momentous occasion for this Country. I agree with the comments made by the Education Secretary, Michael Gove MP that the Government must do something to mark the Queen’s contribution to the British people over the past 60 years.
The Diamond Jubilee is not simply an anniversary; it celebrates 60 years of the Queen representing Britain across the world. When other countries think of Britain, they think of the Queen at its helm, representing our interests around the world and ensuring that we remain at the forefront of international debates. Whether it is with Commonwealth countries such as Canada and Australia or with other world leaders such as the United States the Queen is highly respected and ensures that foreign countries remain keen to trade with us.
Earlier this week Michael Gove suggested that a replacement for the Royal Britannia might be a suitable celebration of the Diamond Jubilee, a sentiment which I agree with. The last royal yacht, Britannia, served the Queen for 44 years, carrying her and the Royal Family on 968 official voyages before being taken out of service in 1997. The decision by the last Labour government to decommission the Royal Yacht Britannia remains one of the most controversial decisions by that administration. I personally believe it was a nasty and self defeating decision that has actually cost this country. The Royal Yacht was seen by many as a ‘floating embassy’ that offered a unique and hotly sought after location for developing international relations. Alas, this world renowned symbol of Britishness has now been reduced to a tourist attraction in Edinburgh.
There are a number of events taking place this summer such as the Olympic Games and whilst these are undoubtedly important, we must not let them overshadow this national day of celebration. We should mark this occasion with something fitting and relevant and I believe that a replacement for the Royal Britannia is the right way to do this.