Wednesday 22 November 2017

A hard act to follow

• Irish history is not conducive to the production of royalists. The imperial yoke had a somewhat stultifying impact on national development, and when combined with the manacles of Rome, our relationship with authority figures became dysfunctional, to say the least.

That is why I was more than a little bemused when I found myself moved and impressed by the one million people who turned out to wish Queen Elizabeth well when she sailed down the Thames.

Once upon a time, I would have chaffed at such a spectacle; I would have recoiled at what I might have regarded as a jingoistic exhibition of vulgar power and prestige.

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