Friday, 4 November 2011


It's been reported by Kent Online that Queen Elizabeth II is planning to visit Margate for Remembrance Day on Friday 11 November. Though the announcement is official, there is no futher information on on the details of her visit, so nobody knows for certain what she'll be doing here. However, I have heard rumours that she may be visiting Margate Old Town to meet some war veterans from the local area. I think this is great news – given the poignancy of the occasion, I'm sure the media will be watching like hawks so it definitely stands to give our local area some positive publicity.

As it happens, I'll be working that day, so I won't be available to say hello to our Queen, which I'm sure she'll be disappointed to hear. Unfortunately, I actually have to go out and earn my money rather than rely upon £40 million a year from the taxpayer to spend on lavish trips abroad to the likes of Australia, Canada, Bermuda and Trinidad under the guise of a 'royal visit'. Since becoming Queen, our monarch has been on approximately 386 trips abroad to far-flung corners of the globe. Nice work if you can get it, eh?! That being said, the Queen does work incredibly hard for an 85-year-old, but whether her work is worth £40 million a year is up for debate, as far as I'm concerned.

Anyway, I'm not gonna rain on her parade. I'm beginning to sound like an anti-monarchist, which I'm not, as given my cynicism about politicians, I'm even struggling to see the benefits of republicanism, to be fair! By and large, I'm pleased with the news and I'm sure the Queen's visit will be wonderful for the town. I did notice that by an amazing coincidence, a quick visit to the Turner Contemporary website reveals an announcement which states:

'Due to exceptional circumstances Turner Contemporary will be closed to the public on Friday 11 November 2011. We apologise for any inconvenience that this may cause.'

Hmm, closed to the public? On the same day the Queen is visiting? Would it be fair to speculate that the reason Turner Contemporary is closing on that day is because the Queen is possibly planning to have a snoop around their Nothing in the World but Youth exhibition for a private viewing? I certainly wouldn't be surprised if that was the case. Of course, I'm not one to peddle mindless gossip, but it does make one wonder, does it not? Does anybody else think it's possible the Queen might visit the Turner Contemporary after shaking hands with the great and the good in Margate's Old Town?

If the Queen does fancy herself as a bit of an art lover, I'd be curious to find out what she thinks of Jamie Reid's poster for the Sex Pistols 1977 "Holidays in the Sun" single which is hanging up in Turner Contemporary's South Gallery. Jamie Reid, lest we forget, is the anarchic artist who created what The Observer's Sean O'Hagan described as "the single most iconic image of the punk era" by designing a picture which depicted Her Majesty with an added safety pin through her nose and swastikas in her eyes. Speaking of the Sex Pistols "God Save the Queen" single, Jamie Reid later said:

“That single made world wide news. In retrospect, it was probably the last public protest against the monarchy. We have really been duped in the last few years: royalty has taken over media space to the extent that they’re now a living soap opera”.

Oh dear. If our monarch does visit the Turner Contemporary, does that mean she could inadvertently be exposed to anti-monarchist propraganda? Good grief! Well, let's just hope Her Majesty doesn't happen to remember who Jamie Reid is if she happens to see the picture, shall we?! That could be very embarrassing! Then again, I'm probably wrong, she might not even be visiting the gallery after all. I'm only speculating. The Queen's probably got a very busy itinery for that day, what with it being Remembrance Day and everything, so the sudden announcement that the Turner Contemporary will be closed to the public on that day is probably just a coincidence. What do you think?


  1. Thanet Press Releases answers your point with a big fat "Yes". Not a suprise though.

    Wish Margate was able to show her more than the Old Town and the Turner Contemporary. Kind of the same problem that was had with Mary Portas, only interested in the good bit. Busy perhaps but to only want to show her that little bit of Margate makes quite a statement in itself about the state of the town as a whole.

  2. Oh, Thanet Press Releases is still going, is it? I thought Michael had stopped doing it so I removed it from my RSS subscriptions. Might have to re-add it to Google Reader if I've missed the big fat 'Yes'.

    As for everything else you've said, I totally agree. It is a shame, but at least we're attracting royalty - that's more than most towns can boast.

  3. It would be nice if she visits The Winter Gardens (100 years old this year). Her mum visited on it's 75th birthday.

  4. Luke I stopped posting there when the council removed me from their press release list, as soon as they put me back on the list I started posting there again.

    The main reason I started the Thanet press release blog was because the council often took ages to post their press releases on their own website, the one about the royal visit hasn’t appeared there yet.

  5. Oh right, it's good that it's back, it was a great resource. I've re-added it to my Google Reader now so I look forward to seeing what else gets posted!

  6. So the Royal Family cost us £40,000,000 a year but they do employ a few fawning staff who may otherwise be jobless and in many cases homeless.
    You may be interested in a live-in vacancy for a "Liveried Helper" at £17k for a 48 hour week.
    I bet you wish your fmily could employ one of those.
    In addition they also keep 550 police protection officers employed at a cost of £30,000,000 including £250,000 to mind two minor members of the royal family as they enjoy clubbing and extensive world wide holidays. No trips to Margate for them.
    You may think that with Kent Police cutting their work force by 300 this year we have some of our priorities wrong.

  7. God you republicans are so sad. How much do you think a President would cost. When you see how pompous Bayford is just imagine how self inportant and costly a President would be. President Blair? President Brown? President Cameron? President Murdoch?

  8. Excuse me, Anon 12.02 - I'd like to refer you to what I said:

    "I'm beginning to sound like an anti-monarchist, which I'm not, as given my cynicism about politicians, I'm even struggling to see the benefits of republicanism, to be fair!"

    Republican? Not me. Politics is dysfunctional enough as it is without making things worse by scrapping remnants of British heritage and disassembling institutions which are, in fact, financial assets to the UK economy. Sad? Nope, I'm very happy thanks. In case you were referring to Anon 10.13 in which case I apologise.

    All I'm asking is for people to scrutinize how much taxpayer's money goes into funding the monarchy. We'd do far better to fund them out of heritage money from the UK tourism trade. I'm sure you wouldn't be so protective about the monarchy if the NHS refused you a life-saving organ transplant which could've been paid for had £40 million not gone into varnishing the skirting boards of Buckingham Palace!

  9. I refer you back to the rest of my comment. How much does President Sarkozy cost the French taxpayer, or President Obama the Americans? Maybe what you really are is anti Head of State - which is just another name for anarchist.
    The NHS comment is not worthy of you. There are many bits of Government iexpenditure that could be substituted in your last reply. And again, do you seriously think that President UK is going to continue living in his two-up, two-down when a nice big palace is on offer?

  10. Oh, I agree with you on your points about Presidents... but it says a lot about people’s faith in democracy that people would rather trust a Head of State to be decided by hereditary birth rather than at the ballot box. That doesn’t make me an anarchist; it just makes me a realist. However, I do think it’s rather pointless calling for abolition, especially since republican attitudes are in the minority with just 26% saying the country would be better off without the royals in recent polls (Guardian/ICM). With that in mind, I’m ambivalent about the monarchy, but I mean no offence to Her Majesty by holding such views. I just don’t like the fawning sycophancy which surrounds the royal family, that’s all. I’m sure I’d change my tune if the Queen offered me a Knighthood though!