Since it’s the Diamond Jubilee of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II (60 years 59 years since her coronation on 2nd June 1952 1953; I’m grateful to fervent royalist Bryn Jones for correcting my error in the comments below), I thought I’d dig out something to mark the occasion. This is the opening sequence of Jubilee, by Derek Jarman, made to mark the Silver Jubilee in 1977. It’s hardly a celebration, however. In fact it’s a grimly ironic dystopian satire, in which Queen Elizabeth I travels forwards in time to 1970s London and finds a city and a society in a state of terminal decay. It was very controversial when it first came out primarily because, although the cast includes a number of punk icons, it’s as much an anti-punk film as it is anti-establishment. Over the years it has become something of a cult primarily, I suspect, among us oldies who remember what things were like in 1977. Anyway, do watch the whole thing if you get the chance. I think it’s brilliant.

11 Responses to “Jubilee”

  1. Bryn Jones Says:

    Hold on, the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II took place on 2 June 1953, 59 years ago today. She had inherited the throne on 6 February 1952. Her “Diamond Jubilee” celebrations this weekend merely use the anniversary of the coronation as a convenient date, presumably because the weather is better in June than in February.

    The truth is that there is no royal 60th anniversary this weekend.

  2. telescoper Says:

    My mistake. I clearly haven’t been paying attention.

    The holiday must really be for my birthday, then…

    • Bryn Jones Says:

      I’m trying my very best not to pay attention – there is so much about the royals in the media and it becomes achingly dull after a while.

      Have a very happy birthday.

      Incidentally, I can always tell when it is the Queen’s official birthday because lots of odd aircraft fly over Bethnal Green on their way to fly past a royal ceremony in central London. There was a Spitfire, Hurricane and Lancaster last year (I think that’s what the aircraft were).

      • telescoper Says:

        Yes, that also happened once when I lived in Bethnal Green. Awful racket the Lancaster bomber made.

      • Bryn Jones Says:

        That was nothing compared to noise two Chinook helicopters made as they flew very low over Victoria Park last week, flying in circles rather fast, banking alarmingly.

  3. Roger Butler Says:

    I thoroughly enjoy the sound of 4 Merlin engines – unique and magnificent. They encapsulate a bygone era in the same way that a Stanier black five steam locomotive does – or a Saturn V !

    • Anton Garrett Says:

      New fangled stuff. I live not too far from a working replica of Trevithick’s locomotive, at Coalbrookdale.

      • telescoper Says:

        You should make the effort to dine at Cardiff University’s magnificent Trevithick restaurant, or browse the books in the Trevithick library…

  4. So this jubilee nonsense is going to continue for a whole year?!

    • Anton Garrett Says:

      Only if HM does likewise. What’s life expectancy at 86?

      • telescoper Says:

        Based on a previous incarnation, doing bit parts on a course on actuarial statistics, the answer is about 6.2 for a woman and 5.2 for a man (from the life tables). You might get a few extra years for being a Queen.

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