A four-day week and another bank holiday weekend to look forward to. I thank everyone for their efforts this week. The rhythm and routines aren’t as we usually experience and we know that does impact upon our children and young people. Together we remain consistent in our approach, focusing on what children and young people get right rather than being driven by the very small minority who might be getting it wrong.
This weekend, this bank holiday, is very different. Not quite a once-in-a-lifetime bank holiday, but not far off it. With the greatest respect, I do hope to see the crowning of another monarch in this country. I do hope to outlive the present king, Charles. However, it is a momentous weekend in the history of this country.
And I should recognise that there will be significant debate around the country, with the burning issues of the time: is it to be coronation chicken (a recipe developed for the coronation of HM Queen Elizabeth, or coronation quiche, (a recipe designed for the weekend, in honour of HM King Charles). All so very British! We can sometimes, as a nation, get ourselves in a real tangle about some of those things that really don’t matter. Yet we know we are more comfortable, as a nation, when we are on this type of territory; when we’re talking about or debating recipes. That’s why programmes like the Great British Bake Off, or the Repair Shop or the Sewing Bee have such ratings.
We just aren’t a revolutionary nation or people. We care, of course we do, but we also understand the need for stability, continuity, and we have a desire to maintain the simple things.
Many of you will spend time watching the coronation and partaking in the celebrations this weekend. Many of you will choose not to. I guess that there may be a very small number who will become agitated or even angry about the debate around monarchy or republicanism. In reality I think it more likely that your ire will be raised by debates around those very British issues such as to quiche or not to quiche.
‘I find myself born into this particular position. I’m determined to make the most of it and to do whatever I can to help. And I hope I leave things behind a little bit better than I found them.’ King (then Prince) Charles
‘Real Men Don’t Eat Quiche (although it was a tongue in cheek exploration of masculinity).’ Bruce Feirstein
Whatever your plans are I hope that you enjoy and that any celebration you feel you need to mark is suitably well resourced with the foods of your choice.