You never truly appreciate being British until you are away from these shores in lands (and galaxies) far far away. While in India in 1997, a special year for the young republic, I was able to observe at close quarters a relatively old country celebrating a major milestone of freedom, self rule and self determination. What did my extended family do celebrate such a momentous event? Nothing at all. This was a great disappointment to me as both a British tourist but an Indian by heritage but it did underline that while I was always envious of countries with their own Independence Day, I love the country that I call home. India is a greatly patriotic country, (just look at the appetite for cricket against arch rivals Pakistan) just a shame such sentiments did not transcend with my family. Where is Mr Bharat when you need him? In a twist of fate, Princess Diana tragically passed while I was still in the sub-continent and that single news event made a greater impact than the 50th anniversary.
I should be more patriotic than I am, I mean the feeling should run deeper than just the national football team. I always feel British rather than purely English although at times the lines are blurred making the distinction quite difficult. I do feel part of a kingdom, although doubt it will be in existence as a United Kingdom for much longer. Time will tell. I recall one of my first ever blog entries on this blog (which is months away from being a decade old) I mention briefly the Golden Jubilee, I had been watching on television.
Trying to reflect on my achievements over the last ten years is rather simple. I could list them much like a shopping list but the reality is I would much prefer to note how I have grown as an individual. I have changed so much that I am perhaps completely unrecognisable from the person that was typing up this blog in raw HTML all those years ago. Friends have come and go, as have many family members but as wife to be, would say to me many years later, “the only constant in life is change…” Sometimes it is indeed these powerful constants that should be celebrated!
I take some pride in being a monarchist. The republican movement does not really have a worthwhile argument or following in any significant number to, in their current form be considered a credible threat. What they fail to understand is that you miss anything once it is gone and do you just replace years of history and regalia with an elected official, replaced once their term (of four years) is completed? Surely the most important part of the Monarchy is their longevity.