Diamond Jubilee procession: who's in, who's out

Sometimes exclusions speak volumes


Sometimes what isn’t said (or seen) can be more telling than what is. In Soviet days, for example, it was a person’s position at the annual May Day parade and other important events that indicated who was on the way up and who was on the way down–they even retroactively deleted those who’d lost favour.

Similar rules apply to the royal family today. On Tuesday the royal press office released more details for the Diamond Jubilee procession on June 5, which is the culmination of four days of celebrations.

Buckingham Palace today published details of The Queen’s processional route from Westminster Hall, the Palace of Westminster, to Buckingham Palace on Tuesday, 5th June.

The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh, The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Henry of Wales will travel by carriages following a Diamond Jubilee lunch at Westminster Hall, to be given for The Queen by the Livery.

The three carriages will leave New Palace Yard and process up Whitehall, to Trafalgar Square, through Admiralty Arch and down the Mall, through the Centre Gates at Buckingham Palace.

Notice what isn’t there? It’s any mention of the rest of the royal family. And that means they’ve been officially relegated to a secondary role. If recent events are any indication, they’ll be moved hither and yon in a bus, the most plebian of transportation options. Well, at least it won’t be a fleet of Boris bikes.

And most upset will be Prince Andrew, duke of York. Known for being very aware of his position–technically he’s No. 4 in succession to the throne, behind Charles and his sons William and Harry–and for being arrogantly “royal,” he’s tried to raise the profile of his daughters but with little luck. Beatrice (No. 5) and Eugenie (No. 6) are best known as gold and silver winners of the most awful wedding hat awards for 2011. Andrew wants them to have full-time royal roles while others, especially Charles, want a slimmed down monarchy. And that means Beatrice and Eugenie would have to get jobs.

Aside from the York girls, the other big losers are London’s millionaires, billionaires and shakers and movers. There’s an increasing feeling that the ultra rich who have flooded into London in recent years are turning the city into a place that is totally unaffordable to the other 99 per cent. The scandals involving the ruling Tories have only entrenched the feeling that there is one set of rules for the rich and another, meaner set, for everyone else. So in a deliberately egalitarian move, the Diamond Jubilee organizers have set aside 10,000 of the very best seats–5,000 pairs of tickets available via lottery–along the parade route for residents of Britain (sorry, Canada.)  And best of all: they’re free.

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