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Keep on smiling

Republicans lost the argument at the jubilee, but monarchists didn't win it

By Paul Barker   July 2002

This has been a bad year for those who thought they were on the verge of a United Republic of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. One reviewer described William Shawcross’s oleaginous BBC golden jubilee series, Queen and Country, as “an almost religious hagiography,” a tribute to “a saint or suburban Sun God.” This was true of the entire jubilee, which was partly sheer flummery, bedecked with newly-manufactured tradition, and topped up with an oldsters’ pop concert. But this isn’t all it was. It is worth thinking carefully about what such an astonishingly popular event means, even if you are a…

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