AS the Platinum Jubilee celebrations begin, how are you going to spend the next four days?
I know what I most definitely WON’T be doing.
First, I won’t be finding time for any benevolence towards Prince Andrew, as the Archbishop of Canterbury has urged.
When asked by ITV News if we should forgive the Duke of York for his sex abuse scandal, Justin Welby replied: “Forgiveness really does matter. I think we have become a very, very unforgiving society. Now with Prince Andrew, I think we all have to step back a bit… he’s seeking to make amends and I think that’s a very good thing.”
Hmm, is he?
I haven’t seen any sign of these “amends” since Andrew paid millions of dollars in March to his accuser Virginia Giuffre to avoid a public court battle over her claim that he sexually assaulted her when she was 17.
READ MORE FROM PIERS
He’d repeatedly insisted he was going to clear his name, but then caved at the last minute and wrote her a massive cheque, albeit without making any admission of guilt.
As a consequence, Andrew was thrown out of the working Monarchy and told he could no longer use his HRH title.
But ever since, he’s been trying to slither his way back into public life, and shamelessly using his mother as a prop to do so.
I don’t call that ‘making amends’, I call that ‘taking the public for mugs.’
As for forgiveness, what exactly are we supposed to forgive?
Andrew refuses to admit he even met the woman he paid millions to – let alone commit any wrongdoing with her.
And he still hasn’t given any plausible explanation for why he continued hanging out with his billionaire paedophile mate Jeffrey Epstein after his conviction for procuring a child for prostitution, other than the insultingly absurd suggestion that he’s just ‘too honourable’ to sever the link.
So no, I won’t be forgiving Andrew until or if he ever tells the truth about what really went on with Epstein, and why he paid Virginia Giuffre all that money.
Watch Piers Morgan Uncensored weekdays on Sky 526, Virgin Media 627, Freeview 237, Freesat 217 or on Fox Nation in the US
Second, I won’t be wasting any energy on the dreaded Duke and Duchess of Sussex, who’ve returned to Britain after hitting rock bottom in new royal popularity polls.
We’re told Meghan and Harry intend to keep a low profile, but this ghastly pair of attention-seeking hustlers have shown they’re only interested in milking their royal status for massive personal financial gain, and they can’t do that by staying under the radar.
So, I confidently predict they will be up to all their usual tricks, creating more drama than even The Crown could conjure up, in a desperate effort to make the Jubilee all about them.
As with a bad smell, it’s best we just turn our noses up at them and pretend they’re not here.
Third, I won’t be giving a milli-second’s thought to those mean-spirited killjoy republicans who’ve been running around putting up ‘Abolish the Monarchy’ billboards everywhere to try to ruin the celebrations.
They remind me of vegans who run into steak houses screaming abuse at meat-eaters – if you don’t like it, just shut up and let those of us who do enjoy ourselves.
No, I will be spending the next four days focusing on one thing: Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II.
She’s not just the oldest and longest-serving monarch to ever sit on the British throne, she’s the greatest.
The Queen’s also the most famous public figure in the world, and the most respected.
Even former Sex Pistols punk rocker Johnny Rotten, who famously sang anti-Monarchy anthem “God Save The Queen” in the year of the 1977 Silver Jubilee, admitted to me on my show Piers Morgan Uncensored on Tuesday night that he has great admiration for her as a human being.
How could anyone not?
‘NEVER COMPLAIN, NEVER EXPLAIN’
She’s shown us for seven decades what an extraordinary person she is, barely putting a regal foot wrong as she’s guided Britain through some of its most turbulent times.
Unlike other constantly yapping and whining younger royals, she remains intensely private, never giving interviews and adhering to the simple philosophy handed down from her mother, The Queen Mother: “Never complain, never explain, and don’t speak in public unless you absolutely have to.”
I’ve met the Queen three times.
She is smaller than you think, always immaculately attired and groomed, and deploys that famous fixed grin to cover myriad emotions.
But don’t be misled by her benign, almost mumsy appearance.
Beneath the smile lurks a formidably sharp brain, and a waspish sense of humour.
“Do you enjoy hosting your garden parties?” I once asked her at a Windsor Castle party thrown for British media figures in 2002 – as we looked out over the magnificently tended green fields.
“Well, Mr Morgan,” she replied, “let me put it this way: how would YOU like 12,000 complete strangers trampling on YOUR lawn?” Then she burst out laughing.
An American journalist once asked me: “What is the POINT of the Queen?” and it was a good question.
She’s not an elected official and has no real executive powers like a US president.
But each week she meets with her Prime Minister, and the importance of those private encounters, and her influence over those running the country, cannot be overstated.
She’s had 14 Prime Ministers during her reign, and I’ve spoken to three of them – Margaret Thatcher, Tony Blair and Gordon Brown – about her.
All attested to the Queen’s extraordinary wisdom gleaned from meeting every leader for the last 70 years, including 13 US presidents, and surveying every world crisis in that time.
“There was no problem I encountered that she hadn’t seen before, in some form,” Blair told me. “I found that very comforting.”
“She’s so intelligent,” agreed Brown, “and never hesitated to challenge me about something if she didn’t agree.”
“I trusted her instincts better than almost anyone else’s,” said Thatcher.
Then there’s her impact on the public global stage.
For 70 glorious years, this remarkable woman has been a magnificent figurehead for our country, displaying to the world the very best of British virtues: dignity, grace, humility, courage, stoicism and duty.
Domestically, she’s been our safe port in every storm, an unflappable calming influence, and a beacon of stability.
Never was this better illustrated than when she addressed us at the height of the Covid pandemic as the deadly virus was destroying lives as fast as it was destroying economies.
“I want to reassure you that if we remain united and resolute,” she said, “then we will overcome it. I hope in the years to come everyone will be able to take pride in how they responded to this challenge. And those who come after us will say Britons of this generation were as strong as any. That the attributes of self-discipline, of quiet good-humoured resolve and of fellow-feeling still characterise this country. The pride in who we are is not a part of our past, it defines our present and the future.”
The Queen once again lifted our spirits, stiffened our resolve, and gave us hope for the future.
And ultimately, THAT is the point of her.
And for this remarkable quality, I remain her incredibly grateful, if occasionally disobedient, servant.
So, for the next four days, as the world’s eyes turn to Britain and our Monarch, let’s party like we’ve never partied before, with all our wonderfully over-the-top pomp and pageantry, to celebrate the reign of this incredible lady, who represents the very best of us.
God save the Queen!
Read More on HOAR