A Canadian On The Diamond Jubilee

Words: Rob Cutforth
Illustrations: Rob White
Monday 04 June 2012
reading time: min, words

"Canadians pay more to support the Queen per person than the Brits do. Let me say that again: Canadians pay more. Not less. Not an equal share. More."


Ah yes, Spring/Summer: my favourite time of year. The time when it rains one fewer day per week, I switch from stout to mild, Canada Geese get bitey, and, oh yeah, the Royals are all up in our faces. Again. The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee has the country enraptured or completely uninterested, depending upon which bit of the country it is that you live. In Nottingham, the Queen’s Jubilee (like pretty much everything), seems to get a big fat ‘meh’.

If I close my eyes really tight and repeatedly hit myself over the head with a rubber hammer, I can almost understand why enough people in this country go ga-ga for the Queen and her minions. The woman seems nice enough, has some cute fuzzy little hats and, as an added bonus, she lives in England most of the time. But why do so many Canadians want to remain under her rule? Why do so many of my countryfolk go categorically batshit for the woman? If, say, the King of Spain came to Calgary tomorrow and said, “Hey muchachos, please send us money for polo matches and garden parties”, we would tell him to go eat a chorizo, or some other mildly racist foodstuff-related threat. But for some reason we don’t mind shelling out an obscene amount of money for your Liz.

‘It’s less than a cup of coffee per person to support the Monarchy’; that’s a line that’s often used by Canadian royalists to soften the blow, and make us forget that we are basically helping prop up another country’s monarch in return for no tangible benefit. Canadians read that coffee quip and think, ‘A cup of coffee? Is that it? That’s not so bad.’ This is because we are morons. When you do the maths, the yearly total comes to over $50 million. That is quite a lot, even in Canadian money. Especially when the Canadian government is cutting public sector jobs and doing precisely zero to offset the damage that the Alberta tar sands are causing the environment, due to supposed budgetary constraints. The sight of the Duchess of Cambridge in a cowboy hat at the Calgary Stampede is definitely worth a bob or two, but $50 million? For that kind of money, I don’t think it would be out of order to expect a lapdance off her. With touching.

According to Maclean’s magazine (Canada’s version of The Economist) Canadians pay more to support the Queen per person than the Brits do. Let me say that again: Canadians pay more to support the Queen than you people do. More. Canadians pay more. Not less. Not an equal share. More. My yearly contribution to the Queen has actually decreased as a result of my move to England. I’d make a joke of it if it wasn’t so tragic. 

Anyway, the Diamond Jubilee. What is a Diamond Jubilee, anyway? It sounds like a square dancing festival in Kansas, or a Katie Price courting ritual. If Leviticus is to be believed, a jubilee marks a year of mass forgiveness of sins. So the Queen is a god now, is she? No, that’s stupid, because in the Bible, it says that a jubilee year takes once every fifty years. The Queen now has one every ten. That means she is five times as important as God.

And just what is Her Holiness doing to celebrate her Diamond Jubilee? Why, I’ll tell you; she’s attending a horse race, a boat race, a lunch and a couple of concerts. If I was loaded and worshipped by millions, I would do something much more exciting. I would eat oysters off a lion’s face and ride a Harley Davidson up the side of an Egyptian pyramid. Then I would scissor-kick a rhinoceros and run naked across Tiananmen Square covered in Branston pickle. I know she’s like a hundred and thirty five years old but gee whiz, Queen, live a little. At least have McDonald’s make you a Big Mac the size of Prince Philip’s head and eat it while pissing off the top of Blackpool tower.

In addition to the horsey-concert-boat-show, the Queen is releasing a brand new medal. Have you seen it? It’s shiny, it’s got the Queen’s head on and it dangles. Plus, if you ever really get stuck, it (along with 70p) can buy you a Diet Coke. It’s exclusively for military servicepersons, prison guards, and people who want to buy one off a military service person or prison guard on eBay. I know it is hard to believe, considering what a treasured thing a Queen’s Jubilee medal is, but apparently they are being auctioned off by loads of ungrateful recipients.  To its monumental credit, the government has said it is ‘saddened’ and ‘disappointed’. It breaks your heart, doesn’t it?

Ah well, I suppose I shouldn’t complain so much, seeing as I am a British citizen now after all. In fact, I will make you, the people of Britain, a pledge: I promise not to moan about the Royals on Jubilee day like I usually do. I will resist reminding you of Prince Philip’s “You look like you’re ready for bed!” comment to the President of Nigeria or Prince Andrew’s paedo pal. I won’t take the piss out of Nazi Harry. I won’t call Sarah Ferguson a ginger heifer. I won’t even shout “Twat!” when I see a grown man erecting Union Jack bunting. No, this year, I promise to be good. I promise to be a proper subject and keep my mouth firmly shut, in fact, I will do the most dutiful thing a person can do on this Diamond Jubilee: I’ll be going to Canada.

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