I am aware that the Queen is, for her age, in seemingly remarkably good health. But, at 96 anyone in possession of all their faculties knows that their days must be numbered. The chance of many more birthdays, let alone major anniversaries, becomes ever smaller.
I am no royalist. If I had my way we would have a republic. You will not, in that case, find me out celebrating this weekend. But in any event, this whole jubilee feels more like a valedictory event than a celebration to me: the sense is that the era is very definitely ending, as inevitably at some time fairly soon it must.
But that does also lend urgency to the question I have also asked this morning in the context of Boris Johnson’s inevitable demise, which is what next?
For centuries the response has been ‘The Queen is dead, long live the King’. Many make the assumption that this will happen again. But the disquiet with the monarchy now seen on every royal tour, whoever now does them, also exists in the UK. How can a eugenic symbol of British imperial exceptionalism really be relevant now?
The challenge is for us all to answer that question. The challenge is for politicians to respond. And as yet there is no sign anyone is.
We face many uncertainties. This weekend does, to me, mark the opening of another by effectively marking the end of a reign. I hope the Queen enjoys the fuss. The questions are not for her to answer. The rest of us cannot avoid them.