One of my first Platinum Jubilee invites was to see the fantastic Jubilee Celebration Bunting Project launch at St Paul’s Church in Whitley Bay. The project is a trail through Whitley Bay and Cullercoats following more than 4000 bunting flags linking, and showing off, our local communities. The brainchild of the Women’s Institute, Newcastle Building Society and the Learning Trust, the scheme received support from lots of local businesses, schools, care homes and community groups.

The celebrations allow a moment of reflection on the significance of a Platinum Jubilee – because we’ve never witnessed anything like it nor are we likely to see it’s like again. Queen Elizabeth II has reigned longer than any other British monarch and is the third longest serving monarch in known history. Seventy years of duty and service; our Head of State during all the crises most of us can remember. Touched by tragedy and loss herself the Queen has become the person our nation looks to in good times and bad.

She has been served fourteen Prime Ministers to whom she has been a source of experience and advice. What she thought about each of them will remain largely a mystery because she knows the value of confidentiality and convention. We can only speculate on what her view of the current Prime Minister. She embodies duty, service to others rather than herself and it is her law we uphold. Those qualities stand in stark contrast to the present incumbent of Downing Street.

So congratulations your Majesty, thank you for your service and long may you reign.

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