The Royal family is kind of the Kardashian clan of England. They keep us entertained with their public weddings, private scandals and peculiar lives so we don’t have to think too hard about our own. And for that, I am eternally grateful.
Still, I was taken aback this week by the images of millions of people, people who will never so much as stick a finger in the icing of a royal cake, rejoicing in the diamond anniversary of the Queen’s coronation. The 1977 celebrations of her silver jubilee were met with a great deal more cynicism.
I landed in England that summer of yore confused by the pomp and ceremony of the royal shindig, and the anger and violence of an emerging Punk Rock. After two years earnestly seeking the meaning of life in India, I couldn't relate to either. I felt caught between a Rock and a hard face queen. But then the Sex Pistols floated down the Thames on a barge blasting their anthem God Save the Queen that, despite its title, is most definitely not homage to the monarchy. The act seemed scary, possibly treasonous, and intentionally, defiantly, hilariously, irreverent. Their river serenade seemed less about advocating actual Anarchy in the U.K and more about a social movement with a Vicious sense of humor willing to poke fun of the meaninglessness of imperial pageantry.
I was pretty sure nothing would ever be the same again.
The royals remain a big “meh” in my memory until the normally stiff and stoic Queen Elizabeth II revealed her affection for home décor. A news camera captured the queen wandering through the burnt rubble of Windsor Castle after a 1992 fire trying to make sense of the scorched walls and water damage. Obviously, she could afford to refurbish. Or move to one of her many other regal residences. But her tender attachment to those particular sofas and chairs, those chandeliers and rugs, the walls and ceilings that had seen her family through the years, even through the centuries, was palpable. Yes, my self-righteous condemnation is fickle when it comes to matters of furniture.
Things are so much more than things.
Every home is someone’s castle. So in the spirit of the royal to-do across the pond, here are some furnishings fit for a queen.