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Is It Wise To Spend One Billion Euros To Celebrate Queen’s Birthday? – OpEd


It has been reported that one billion euros is the expected bill for the UK-wide celebration to mark Queen Elizabeth II’s 90th birthday this year. A survey released recently in United Kingdom said that an average citizen of UK is likely to spend 42.98 euro on the celebrations.

Many countries, which were once under the control of Britain and then got their independence, have constituted their government on the model of democratic governance in Britain. Today, the citizens of these distant commonwealth countries, who are still associated with Britain as member of commonwealth, must wonder as to whether it is appropriate to spend such a huge money on the birthday celebration of the Queen, in a country that boasts one of the most modern and nearly perfect systems of democratic governance.

Many citizens in the commonwealth countries inevitably wonder as to whether the mindset of Britishers have still not crossed that of the citizens of the erstwhile days who lived under the rule of monarchy. Especially the youth of today, brought with the culture of free-thinking and people’s will and people’s primacy and power wonder whether it is anachronism to spend so much money for the birthday celebration of the Queen. One does not know as to what Queen Elizabeth herself thinks on such celebration, but the very fact that she has not objected to the celebration only indicates that it has her approval.

While there is really nothing wrong in celebrating the birthday of any person — including that of Queen Elizabeth — is lavish spending the appropriate way of for celebrating the birthday of a Queen in a democratic country and particularly when the money spent on celebration will be the government’s money and people’s contribution ?

We know that many wealthy businessmen — and some politicians — around the world have indulged in lavish birthday celebrations, which may be viewed by the poor and deprived people as nothing less than a vulgar exhibitionism of wealth and affluence. These affluent people may not care about the feelings of the poor people, but the Queen’s stature and prestige are on loftier plane.

People in commonwealth countries look to Britain to lead the democratic resurgence of the world and expect the British governance to be a role model for other countries to follow and as such they would be certainly disappointed about the one billion euro celebration, if such is true.

Would it not be more cultured, better civilized and a loftier principle, if Queen Elizabeth were to direct that her 90th birthday should be celebrated for the benefit and welfare of millions of deprived citizens in commonwealth countries, who are still living in oppressive conditions. Is Queen Elizabeth losing an opportunity at her 90th birthday to benefit the downtrodden people in various commonwealth countries by extending her arm of compassion and support to the poor people by directing the government and citizens of Britain to spend the money to benefit the poor people in commonwealth countries — and not on her.

In the past, the kings and queens in Britain have shown an extraordinary quality of leadership and initiative on different occasions and Queen Elizabeth II is well admired in the commonwealth countries today. People who admire Britain and the Queen desire that the Queen’s 90th birthday celebration should be a memorable event and long remembered by people around the world —  and not one of mere lavish events the likes of which the world has seen many times before.

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N. S. Venkataraman

N. S. Venkataraman is a trustee with the "Nandini Voice for the Deprived," a not-for-profit organization that aims to highlight the problems of downtrodden and deprived people and support their cause. To promote probity and ethical values in private and public life and to deliberate on socio-economic issues in a dispassionate and objective manner.

One thought on “Is It Wise To Spend One Billion Euros To Celebrate Queen’s Birthday? – OpEd

  • April 13, 2016 at 11:23 pm

    Did you even bother to read the facts of the spending? And did you even read what you yourself wrote? The government is not spending this money, that is how much PRIVATE citizens are expected to spend in order to hold their own PRIVATE celebrations, that just happen to be in honor of the Queen’s birthday. They are not spending that money on the events taking place in Windsor, London or elsewhere in the world. The $42.98 per person, as stated, is the average amount expected to be spent by people over that period of time, for food, drinks or other items that they may want to have, that they will personally consume or else share with their neighbors if their neighborhoods host a street party and they all bring something along to share. The events taking place, such as the horse show at Windsor Castle- which is the annual Windsor Horse Show, that will be celebrating it’s own 73rd anniversary this year- will not and has not received taxpayer funds in order to take place each year, they have corporate and private sponsorship. Jaguar, Hermes, Rolex, Land Rover, etc. donate and are partners for funding the presentation of the event, the only difference this year is, that the show’s theme will be aimed at celebrating the Queen’s 90th birthday. And instead of the Queen driving herself down to the show, wearing her headscarf and walking among the crowds just as any other normal person gets to do, as she has always done at the horse show every year (check online for those pics where she shows up in her skirt or pants, driving her own car, headscarf on, and being surrounded by her kids, grandkids and great grandkids)- only this time she will be the guest of honor and will be expected to attend the show in style, in the full glare of the cameras and the focus of the audience on a world wide stage as they celebrate her life, and instead of what is normally an event for her where she lets her hair down and enjoys a day out with her family, she will be on display and performing for the country and the Commonwealth as well as the world, as they celebrate the woman who has dedicated her life to the people, the country, the Commonwealth, and the relationships of the nations of the world, as she pledge to do at the age of 21. And the other events which include the charity birthday picnic on the Mall outside Buckingham Palace, is also being funded by private donations, and the tickets sold will be donated to various charities, and there are also people from the charities that will be in attendance where they are being honored for their work and their struggles, something that often goes overlooked. There will also be the lighting of 1000 beacons across the world in celebration, but if there is any government sponsorship of any that is very minor, they only have to have the wood/fuel to burn, and a volunteer to light it. So before we question the “billion euros” being spent, could we please look at all the facts? The events are nationally celebrated events, for a woman who has dedicated her life to the service, welfare and betterment of so many, never complaining, never calling in sick, and even when being criticized, she still shows up to be seen, listen and offer stability when the world has been turned upside down. But the money being spent for the “billions” is not money spent to host those events, that is the money that private citizens are expected to spend on their own personal consumption. I may buy champagne, cheese, and make a dessert, and go outside into the neighborhood party and sit them on the table to share, or I could stay home and eat it all myself to privately celebrate, but that is for my own consumption or those who I choose to share with, but that is not going directly to the Queen’s parties. We also have to consider that that Billion Euros is being SPENT, and therefore the economy is getting a billion euro shot in the arm, so businesses, shops, and through tax revenues from those sales, that government all get an extra billion thrown into their accounts, that otherwise would be sitting in someone else’s.


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