Andrew Marr has just concluded three weeks of presenting The Diamond Queen on BBC One celebrating, and then some, the Queen‘s 60 years. Next to come, also on BBC One, is The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Song, warbled by Gary Barlow. The coverage so far appears determined to ensure that the colour du jour of the coming celebrations is not red, white and blue but a rather drab shade of fawn that does no good at all for the national visage.
So profound is the lilt to Liz that the BBC, normally (and erroneously) clobbered for a being signed-up member of the glorious Commonwealth (as in the 17th century), now stands charged with treason. In an era of alleged “balance”, the coverage of Her Majesty’s six decades on the throne, a crest of cringe, has been sharply criticised for being short of a republican or several. Or, come to that, even a mildly reformist royalist.
Censorship apparently rules OK. According to a leaked email, a producer for The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Song has written to someone in Australia called David, requesting access to Australian royalists, about as fruitful a task as seeking out nudists in Windsor Great Park.
The writer of the email, clearly no longer destined to become the BBC’s director-general, explains that an interview with Julia Gillard, the country’s prime minister, will not be suitable because she is “pro-republican”. This will not fit the programme’s “positive angle”. The producer adds: “We are not interested in hearing a personal bad word against the Queen.”
I have become more republican in outlook as I get older. I find I grumble at the TV over the grovelling attitude they seem to adopt to our monarch and retinue.