A Celebration Fit For a Queen: Why Do We Need An Excuse To Get Together?

NathalieM By NathalieM, 25th Sep 2015 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Culture

We find cause to get together and celebrate the record-breaking reign of Queen Elizabeth II, but without an excuse, the British find it difficult to simply enjoy each others company. Are we socially stagnating, or is this the way is has always been?


As you are probably aware, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II recently gained the honour of becoming the longest serving monarch to reign over the UK. While she may have come in for some criticism at times during her reign, most notably for her refusal to fly the Union Jack at half-mast over Buckingham Palace, Her Majesty is largely loved and respected by the vast majority of the country, both here in the UK and across the Commonwealth.

While the Queen herself may have decided not to throw herself a celebratory bash, there were some of us who were more than a little eager to show our appreciation. Several girlfriends and I decided that we would get our husbands and partners on-board to throw an impromptu celebratory bash to honour the event.

A True British Street Party

After a quick few phone calls, my friend Alice had managed to gather together enough chairs and folding school tables to have something of a proper British gathering. After nipping to the local supermarket, I put together a few nibbles and mixed the Pimms and lemonade and we had something of a late-summer party.

My friends’ loved it so much, and it was so nice to get everyone together for a change, rather than randomly bumping into each other down the local pub while trying to eat a roast dinner and stop the dog from stealing someone’s lunch.

Why Do We Always Need A Reason For Everything?

While I was reflecting on this latest celebration, it got me thinking to myself. Why is it that in this country we need to have an excuse to get the bunting out and get together with our friends and neighbours?

A few years ago I went on holiday to Italy and it seemed that wherever we went there was some kind of party going on, or “festa” as they liked to call it. At one point my hubby and I found ourselves being encouraged to sit down with the locals and eat their food and drink their home-made wine. It was all going so well until they brought out a smelly cheese and an over enthusiastic woman tried to hold me down and put some in my mouth.

It is hard to believe that something like that could happen here in Britain, for some reason we all seem to spend so much time thinking about work and forget that we should get out there and enjoy life. I don’t mean forcefully insisting that complete strangers eat inedible cheese, but generally getting together and celebrating life.

How Others See Us

It seems that as a country and people we are often seen as being unfriendly and that tourists are often put off by their preconceived impression of us. After reflecting on my own experiences abroad, and our lack of community, I think that this could well be true. It is about time we took a leaf out of continental neighbours’ habits and get together with our friends and neighbours on a more ad-hoc basis. It is hardly a surprise that we are seen as being boring and miserable when we are so afraid of throwing an impromptu gathering. Where is the fun in planning everything weeks, or sometimes months, ahead of the day?

I saw for myself what a difference a community-centred approach can make and how it can help to bring people together and in future I will be making sure that if I feel like doing something, then I sure as hell will do!

Thanks for Reading

Please take a look at some of my other Wikinut pieces. You can also follow me on Twitter for similar articles.


Anthropology, Celebration, Communication, Culture, Friendship, Party, Society

Meet the author

author avatar NathalieM
Hello! I'm Nathalie and I love writing about what makes my world tick! Fashion, weddings, interior design, health, property..You name it, I will write about it!

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