The Spectator

Barometer | 2 June 2012

Imperial diamond

This week’s diamond jubilee celebrations will be hard-pressed to outdo those of Queen Victoria’s in 1897.

— A diamond jubilee was supposed to be a 75th anniversary, but it was brought forward by the government as an excuse for a mass celebration aimed at promoting British trade.

— On 22 June, the Queen was conveyed in a carriage along a six-mile route ending at St Paul’s, where an open air service was held so she did not have to disembark.

— Six million were estimated to have watched the procession. For 400,000 of them, however, it was not necessarily just patriotism that spurred them to attend: they were plied with free ale and pipe tobacco supplied by grocer Sir Thomas Lipton.

Royally satisfied

An Ipsos-Mori opinion poll suggested that 80 per cent of Britons want to keep the monarchy. How does that compare with other constitutional monarchies?

Denmark (Jylands Posten 2010) 82%
Netherlands (Maurice de Hond 2008) 70%
Norway (Dagbladet 2010) 67%
Spain (Instituto Opina/Cadena Ser) 65%
Sweden (FSI 2010; question was whether monarchy was ‘good’) 46%

Opening gambit

Some things opened by the Queen which have struggled to survive her reign:

1955 The Queen’s Building, Heathrow. It became Terminal 2, but closed in 2009 for redevelopment
1956 Calder Hall nuclear power station. Renamed Windscale and then Sellafield. Original power station closed 2003


QE2, the cruise liner. Withdrawn from service in 2008
1972 Runcorn City Shopping Centre.Went into receivership in 2009. Now in the process of redevelopment and known as Halton Lea Shopping Centre


Queen Elizabeth II Park Recreation Centre, Christchurch, New Zealand. Closed after earthquake damage, 2011

Silver memories

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