I had been searching around for inspiration as a pondered what to blog about over the festive season. After struggling for a while, I turned to royalty. It was a good decision. Queen Elizabeth II has broadcast a televised message each Christmas for the last 50 years. When she began, television was a new-fangled medium, controlled by the elite but supplied to the masses. Now, 50 years on, we are seeing this relationship enter a new phase, where the masses now make as well as consume television, and the elite depend on popularity to retain their place. In the meantime, the Queen has managed to steer a unique course between past and present. She retains her position by virtue of birth, without any serious republican challenge, and without needing to seriously compromise her integrity in the face of the ever-creeping commercializaiton of every aspect of society. At the same time, she and her advisors have seamlessly integrated the latest innovations within a context of continuity. So it should come as no surprise that these days you can find on The Royal Channel on YouTube, including the first televised Queen’s speech, made in the year 1957. The message she gave then, about retaining the best of the past as we embrace the future, remains very apt today. I recommend you take a look.
Best wishes for the season,