LONDON – On Sunday, the UK concluded a joyous four-day tribute to Queen Elizabeth II with street fairs, picnics and a contest after a starry Saturday night at Buckingham Palace, offering a pop culture mix with Rod Stewart’s Neil Diamond Song “Sweet Caro”.
Good times, as the song says, never seemed so good.
But if millions of Britons reveled in the Queen’s platinum anniversary – or at least the lazy pleasures of late spring, the long weekend – it might have been a sensible occasion to party before the bar closed.
On Monday, Britain shifts from the Queen’s 70-year rule to renewed political controversy over Prime Minister Boris Johnson, as well as concerns that the country is facing “stagflation”, a double blow to the recession and inflation that last affected Britain after Britain. . celebrated its silver anniversary in 1977.
“I am convinced that the atmosphere of the anniversary is a four-day miracle, and that national sentiment will soon deteriorate again,” said Tim Bale, a professor of politics at Queen Mary University of London.
“It feels like we’re all waiting for something to happen,” he added. “For a storm or a dam to break through. But it is difficult to predict whether it will be.
Anxious mood briefly invaded the festivities when comedian Lee Mack greeted 22,000 spectators at a concert that was staged at the Queen Victoria Memorial in front of the gates of Buckingham Palace. “Finally,” he joked, “we can say the words ‘party’ and ‘gate,’ and that’s positive.”
The crowd laughed at the reference to the long-simmering scandal surrounding parties that violated the blockade on 10 Downing Street, which London tabloids inevitably nicknamed “Partygate”.
For Mr. Johnson, who sat behind Prince Charles and other family members in the royal lodge, it was the second blow to the jubilee’s wrists. On Friday, the sound was muffled by applause as he and his wife Carrie climbed the steps of St. Paul’s Cathedral in thanksgiving service for the Queen.
The scandal seems to be flaring up again: London’s Sunday Times reported on June 4 that a no-confidence vote could be taken this week, and an unnamed Conservative rebel believes lawmakers have exceeded the threshold of 54 letters calling for a vote.
Mr Johnson’s political obituary was written earlier, including at another time during the scandal. He survived a police fine for violating blocking rules, as well as publishing an internal report on the case, in which he was accused of a culture imbued with alcohol on Downing Street.
However, Mr Johnson’s critics have pointed to a new poll conducted before the critical parliamentary elections in Wakefield, Labor’s constituency, which the Conservatives won in the 2019 election on Mr Johnson’s promise to “achieve Brexit”. The seat in West Yorkshire is open because former Tory MP Imran Ahmad Khan has been jailed on charges of child sexual abuse.
A poll by James Johnson found that Labor outperformed the Conservatives by 20 percentage points. Mr Johnson, who interviewed former Prime Minister Theresa May, wrote on Twitter that the main reason people plan to vote for Labor was antipathy to the prime minister.
When Conservatives are swept away, as well as in another, in Tiverton and Honitan – where incumbent President Neil Parish resigned after admitting to watching pornography on his phone while in the House of Commons, political scientists have said vote of no confidence.
Even if Mr Johnson survives this, some predict that a miserable winter awaits him as the country deals with rising food and fuel prices. The International Monetary Fund estimated last month that consumer prices will rise 13 percent this year and next. Other forecasters said the recession was inevitable.
With all this looming, the British could be forgiven for stopping for the last 70 years, an era in which the Queen had consolidated the country through previous bouts of political, economic and social turbulence.
Some key points of Queen Elizabeth’s reign
“You are laughing and crying with us, and most importantly, you have been with us for these 70 years,” said Prince Charles, who spoke at the concert and called his 96-year-old mother “Her Majesty” and “Mom.”
On Sunday, the queen, dressed in green, reappeared on the balcony of Buckingham Palace, missing most of the festivities due to walking problems. A crowd of several thousand saluted her “God save the queen.”
At a concert the night before, Elizabeth stole a show with a pre-recorded sequence in which she shares a happy cream with Bear Paddington, voiced by actor Ben Wishaw.
Both were bound by a love of sandwiches with marmalade, and the queen took one from her purse. Then, rhythmically clicking their spoons on their tea cups, they sounded the familiar starting drum beats of “We Will Rock You” when British band Queen began playing their hit on stage.
The sequence was reminiscent of the 2012 Olympics, where an even more elaborate sketch of the Queen and James Bond, played by Daniel Craig, descended by parachute to the stadium from a helicopter during the opening ceremony.
On Sunday, a carnival with orchestras and dragons filled the square where Diana Ross, Alicia Keys and Durand Durand performed. In cities across the UK, residents set up tables wrapped in red-white-blue oatmeal and served cucumber sandwiches and Pima cocktails to their neighbors.
“It’s a great opportunity to connect people who don’t know each other,” said Alina Wallace, who works in public relations and has prepared a jar of gin and grapefruit on London’s Honeybrook Road.
In several streets Hannah Stanislava was standing at a table filled with cheese buns, a biscuit with a Victoria sandwich, muffins, shortbread and fruit pie. In the last four days, she said, she has attended four street parties.
“This is the official return of the British after Covid,” she said. “The anniversary gave people the opportunity to reconcile.”
Emma Bubol contributed to accountability.