The Queen’s reign has seen seismic change in the way we live together

There is one tradition about coronation days which we can do without. The weather was not good for the Queen, George VI, Edward VIII, George V and Edward VII. It was alright for Queen Victoria but that was nearly 200 years ago. This week’s Platinum anniversary on June 6 will be the coldest day of the week. 

There is a lot of good news though over the 70 years the Queen has reigned. We’ve abolished capital punishment and being gay is no longer a crime. During her reign there have been over 120 new universities, from Hull in 1954 to Hartpury in 2018. That’s Hartpury in Gloucestershire, as you know.

Over the years the British Empire became the Commonwealth and over 50 states are members of it.

The greatest changes are, perhaps, in the way we live together. When the Queen came to the throne there was a great deal of prejudice against Black people. Mixed marriages were frowned upon, houses in affluent neighbourhoods were not sold to Blacks, and jobs were advertised as not being available to black people and Jews.

While there is still a degree of prejudice, it is no longer fashionable and all the major political parties are totally opposed to it. It is an election  manifesto no-no.

We have still not eliminated national privation, though the Jewish community has made further progress from the days of the poverty stricken East End. The size of the community has diminished by about 30%, but the Charedim are still growing, and the United Synagogue is still the largest post-war Synagogue organisation in Europe with over 40,000 members.

Her Majesty the Queen

The number of days lost through strikes has dropped like a stone. It was over 10 million in 1970 but 270,000 in 2018. Membership of unions has also reduced by a substantial number.

The number of days lost through strikes has dropped like a stone. It was over 10 million in 1970 but 270,000 in 2018. Membership of unions has also reduced by a substantial number.

The practice of religion has seen problems for all faiths, but one has been increasing cooperation and tolerance. Religious leaders work more closely together, though the Queen is the head of the Church of England and takes that responsibility very seriously.

You’ll see great differences in the homes of the people over these last 70 years. Colour television sets and washing-up machines, refrigerators and computers have been only some of the new inventions. It has made life easier and more enjoyable, though the new technology has been difficult for the older generation to master.

The Queen’s greatest achievement is that the large majority of the population remain firm royalists. It is, in fact, the cheapest form of monarchy. In far too many countries around the world, the leaders rob the people and there is no rule of law. It is not surprising that so many people want to emigrate to Britain.

Over the years cures for many diseases have been discovered. Polio, tuberculosis and many forms of cancer are now curable. Heart surgery has improved  enormously. The expectation of life when the Queen came to the throne was 69 and it is now more than 81. There are over 15,000 centenarians in  Britain.

So the vast majority of us are agreed that we have been very fortunate in having the Queen on the throne for 70 years and may she join the 15,000 centenarians in due course.

About the Author
Derek is an author & former editor of the Jewish Year Book
Comments