A quaint relic

Did anyone listen to the Christmas message of an old queen from the other side of the world?

Have Queen Elizabeth’s messages ever been inspirational? Or just traditional waffle?

The Queen and whatever she says seems like a quaint relic of a long gone royal past to me. What she says is as important as what she wears – fodder for fawning journalists.

Here is her 2015 message: Queen’s Christmas message: Text in full

It seems to consist mostly of meandering musings about family and Christmas.

The main talking points seem to be her references to darkness and light.

It is true that the world has had to confront moments of darkness this year, but the Gospel of John contains a verse of great hope, often read at Christmas carol services: “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it”.

But this followed:

One cause for thankfulness this summer was marking 70 years since the end of the Second World War.

A 70 year anniversary may give cause for reflection but it was hardly a huge cause for thinks this year.

It’s no surprise that such a human story still captures our imagination and continues to inspire all of us who are Christians, the world over.

Despite being displaced and persecuted throughout his short life, Christ’s unchanging message was not one of revenge or violence but simply that we should love one another.

Although it is not an easy message to follow, we shouldn’t be discouraged; rather, it inspires us to try harder: to be thankful for the people who bring love and happiness into our own lives, and to look for ways of spreading that love to others, whenever and wherever we can.

How inspired will anyone be by this?

There’s an old saying that “it is better to light a candle than curse the darkness”.

There are millions of people lighting candles of hope in our world today.

Christmas is a good time to be thankful for them, and for all that brings light to our lives.

Lighting candles ‘of hope’ seems like as much a quaint old relic as Queen Elizabeth. Her Christmas message was a relevant to New Zealand as this reporting in the Herald.

Elizabeth wore a white and silver tweed day dress by Angela Kelly during the speech, accessorizing it with an art deco diamond and aquamarine brooch that belonged to her late mother. The table she sat next to was decorated with a portrait of Prince William, Kate and young Prince George.

I doubt we will see a surge in sales of silver tweed dresses or aquamarine brooches as a result of these product placements.

Why did the decorations feature just one grand kid and two great grand kids?  Isn’t Christmas supposed to be a family occasion?

Maybe not for an old relic.  The rest of her family are probably used to being relegated to the background, out of sight, out of mind. Like New Zealand as far as the Betty Windsor message goes at Christmas.

 

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36 Comments

  1. David

     /  27th December 2015

    Not a supporter of the monarchy then Pete.

    Reply
    • Not since when a kid having to stand to a song about someone who had no apparent relevance to me.

      I’m not aware of my parents having any royal empathy either. Rural New Zealand was about as un-monarch as you could get.

      I can’t imagine many Kiwis under seventy getting much out of her annual speeches that seem to be carefully crafted blandness.

      Reply
      • kittycatkin

         /  27th December 2015

        Are they usually as bland as this ? Surely not.

        Reply
        • Mike C

           /  27th December 2015

          @Kitty

          There was her very memorable “Anus Horriblus” speech a few years ago … after a year of family members having things like toe sucking episodes captured on film by the papparazzi. LOL 🙂

          Reply
          • kittycatkin

             /  27th December 2015

            Annus Horribilus, not….or did you do that on purpose ? 😀

            That was the year of the fire at Windsor Castle, which must have been awful.

            Reply
            • Mike C

               /  28th December 2015

              @Kitty

              I really thought it was spelt that way 🙂

              Foreign languages have never been my strong point.

      • kittycatkin

         /  27th December 2015

        The words ‘ an old queen’ make it sound as if it was Quentin Crisp making the speech ! 😀

        Reply
  2. Patzcuaro

     /  27th December 2015

    Most interest seems to be in the colour of her dress.

    Reply
  3. Alan Wilkinson

     /  27th December 2015

    When I spent three months in London in 1985 I felt as though I had visited a museum and it seemed much the same again a couple of decades later. However now the UK economy is booming, is bigger than France and forecast to overtake Germany and Japan in the next decade or so: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/economics/12068319/Booming-Britain-to-become-worlds-fourth-largest-economy-as-France-and-Italy-face-G8-exclusion.html

    With Britain wavering about its future in the EU it is probably a good time to keep our links active, quaint or not. Grannies are usually a bit quaint but they have lots of children.

    Reply
  4. Perhaps the time for a Kiwi republic is approaching more rapidly than I thought? And perhaps Aotearoa/NZ will do it this way around – 1. new flag, 2. go republic, 3. new constitution?

    Regrettable, because when we’ve gone republic and drafted a new constitution we’ll find out how inadequate the new flag is as a symbol of it.

    We might be able to draft the U.K into some kind of expanded version of TPPA? I actually don’t know; do we have a free trade agreement with Britain? If not, lets make one and then it won’t matter what Granny thinks or says or does.

    Reply
  5. To be fair, do you think that a Christmas message by a NZ president would be much different and receive any more attention? Or would be any different in content? Yes, probably a few more references to local events, but would that make it any better?

    In every country I lived, the Christmas / New Years message of the Head of State/Head of Government was met with disinterest and boredom.

    The only ever interesting one was by Helmut Kohl on NY message in 1986 because the TV broadcaster accidentally aired his NYE message from the previous. No one noticed until the end.

    Reply
  6. spanish_tudor

     /  27th December 2015

    Christmas is a time of tradition and ritual. The monarch’s Christmas message to the Empire/Commonwealth goes back to 1932. It’s one of the duties that goes with the role.

    If you’re a republican or not interested in the broadcast, then don’t watch it. And save us the sour and spiteful commentary.

    Reply
  7. Nelly Smickers

     /  27th December 2015

    Even in the UK, the Queen’s Message comes in for ridicule. A few years back, comedian Frankie Boyle joked on BBC2’s panel show Mock Weekly, that you would not hear the Queen say during her Christmas broadcast; “I’m so old that my pussy is haunted”.

    A complaint by a viewer to the BBC’s management was rejected, with the chairman of the standards committee saying that “it was within the audience expectation for the show”

    How times have changed 🙂

    Reply
  8. ” … fodder for fawning journalists…” Inspired? People making a big deal of it?
    Quite ironic that an old, and in some places venerated, traditional relic uses the same sources to suggest significance.

    When TVNZ sponsored Team NZ, Peter Blake would fart and it would be on the 6pm news. If he thought about farting the same. An NZ Warriors coach is seen having coffee with a player in a Sydney cafe and it’s open slather as the various media outlets try to paint a picture of who’s signing what. The CEO of the same coach is talking to someone in a Sydney cafe and it’s the coach who’s down the tubes.

    Had there been an earthquake somewhere, a ‘prominent sportsperson’ involved in a domestic dispute, or John Key doing something dumb the Queen’s Christmas message would have been way down the media priority list. Again.

    One adult in our house said when it appeared on tv “Oh, she still does that?” and we watched it for the novelty. Ah that’s entertainment.

    Reply
  9. kittycatkin

     /  27th December 2015

    I watched it for no good reason, but felt that it was very bland indeed this year, I can’t really remember any of it now. But I liked her pearls and the dress that looked like a really nice jersey 🙂

    If anyone had never seen one before, they wouldn’t be inclined to watch another. It seemed a particularly dull and unmemorable speech. One doesn’t expect it to be controversial and sensational, but this was the opposite extreme.

    It was always part of Christmas Day when I was a child, as it would have been when my parents were children and my grandparents were children.

    Reply
  10. Alan Wilkinson

     /  27th December 2015

    Really there is quite a lot to be said for bland and boring from your head of state. The alternative from a Mad Mullah, demigod Kim Jong-un or Mafia boss Putin is not appealing.

    Reply
    • spanish_tudor

       /  27th December 2015

      Or a President Helen Clark for that matter…..

      Reply
    • Kevin

       /  27th December 2015

      I regard the Queen as a bit of an old duck but the truth is we’d be a whole lot worse off without her.

      Reply
    • kittycatkin

       /  27th December 2015

      Well, yes, Alan. Or a Nuremberg Rally rant*. But it did seem that the QM this year was a very dull one, no sooner heard than forgotten-it didn’t really tell us anything. Surely they are usually better than this !

      * total tangent; I once saw a film of old Adolf doing a Nuremberg rant. It was filmed from backstage and at one point he came back (for a glass of water, I think) and caught someone’s eye. He gestured with his head towards the crowd, with a contemptuous look, gave an even more contemptuous eyeroll, then went back and switched it back on as suddenly as he’d switched it off when he left the stage. I wonder if any of the baying crowd would have had second thoughts if they’d seen it. It was extraordinary; not only the switch off and on but the contempt he showed towards the suckers in front. I’m surprised that the film wasn’t destroyed.

      Reply
      • kittycatkin

         /  27th December 2015

        How about a Benny Hinn/Brian Tamaki speech ? 😀

        Or one done by that shouting child in the car ad or that ghastly brat in the Contact ones ?

        Reply
      • jamie

         /  27th December 2015

        That sounds fascinating, kitty.

        Any idea what the film might have been titled, or how one might search for it?

        Reply
        • kittycatkin

           /  27th December 2015

          No, damn it, or I’d look it up myself-it was on a documentary, that’s all I can remember. It really was extraordinary to see his sneering expression as he did that head-jerk gesture. ‘Bloody fools…they’ll believe anything.’ It has stayed with me all these years. But his followers were so besotted and happy to be told what they wanted to hear that they’d probably have explained it away somehow.

          Reply
  11. Zedd

     /  27th December 2015

    The Royal Xmas message goes back to the queens Grand-father (King George V, on Radio).. its definitley, past its use-by date, as is Queen Lizzy too :/

    Reply
  12. kittycatkin

     /  27th December 2015

    I could have done without the reference to thinking of someone who’s died this year being in the same sentence as thinking of what we have to be thankful for. It’s obvious that this hasn’t happened to her this year. I bet that few people who’ve had someone die of cancer will be able to feel too thankful about other things.

    Reply
  13. kittycatkin

     /  27th December 2015

    The Queen’s grandfather’s last words were ‘Bugger Bognor !’ I’m not making this up.

    Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  27th December 2015

      You weren’t making it up but it isn’t true. Google is your friend.

      Reply
      • kittycatkin

         /  27th December 2015

        His official last words were something about the empire, but I have always heard that he was told that he would benefit from a holiday in Bognor….and said that. They seemed marvellous last words.

        Reply
  14. kittycatkin

     /  27th December 2015

    Well, he did say it-even if not at that moment.Sigh….another illusion shattered.

    Reply
  15. Brown

     /  28th December 2015

    Her role as head of the COE influences her speech and that is no bad thing. Not so long ago millions around the world would have taken encouragement that a head of something like the British Empire still stood for something perceived by them to be timeless and the answer to the question of why are we here and so on. Christians are the most abused target group on the earth at present so if you’re not one you don’t need to care and can roll your eyes.

    Her reign will end, we will, in time, become a Godless republic with some all powerful head of state. Like the loss of the Privy Council we will regret it.

    Reply
    • Some would have said we would regret being separated from the United Kingdom as our major trading partner. But as a country we have grown and strengthened from their discarding of us when it suited them.

      Reply
  16. I’d rather have a Queen who sort of means something making a boring speech than a President who means fuckall making a boring speech.

    Reply
  17. I would say the Queen herself doesn’t mean much, it’s the institution she leads and represents. Monarchy. The pinnacle of feudalism. Her ‘right to rule’ being hereditary. Even the Parliamentary system of the United “Kingdom” demonstrates monarchy’s residual and ongoing influence. Peerages. House of Lords. Knights etc etc.

    One important idea, I guess, is to have some power above-and-beyond Parliamentary Democracy. Something or someone who can sack the PM, dissolve the Parliament or take control under certain extraordinary circumstances?

    In the case of an elected President or a Monarch this is going to be the same entity regardless, the Armed Forces; one important reason the U.S has a National Guard and we have a Territorial Army.

    The elected President clearly means something to many folks in the U S of A.

    Presidents can make great speeches too. Whatever you may think of the circumstances, Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address was a remarkable piece of oratory.

    Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  28th December 2015

      Interesting to reflect on how Elizabeth’s role will go down in history. I think she will be regarded as the most outstanding monarch since Victoria for her consistency, stability and dedication to duty as well as longevity. There have been very many much worse.

      Reply

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