Dear Americans, as a British person, I feel I ought to explain a few things about the lunacy of the last four days. If you watch any sort of news whatsoever, you saw a series of increasingly bizarre things taking place in London over the weekend -- including a concert outside Buckingham Palace on Monday -- to celebrate the fact that Elizabeth II has been the United Kingdom's
overlord Queen for sixty years now.
There were a lot of things that went on at that Jubilee concert that
must've seemed quite strange to you, America. So, in an attempt to
further our international cultural relationship, here are six things you
should know about it.
1. We Don't Listen To Grace Jones Anymore Than You Do
When Grace Jones emerged on the stage to perform "Slave To The Rhythm", I immediately received a text from my mother that read: "Where'd they dig her up from?" Not only have British people not seen Grace Jones perform at a big event for years, we kind of haven't missed her, either. I'd be really interested to find out how she got on the bill for this thing. The punchline to all of this is that, after hula-hooping (yes, actual hula-hooping) her way through the entire song -- we assume as a hideously literal interpretation of the line "Keep it up" -- Grace yelled "Happy Birthday, our Queen!" Um, Grace? Liz's birthday was last month... That's not what a Jubilee is.
2. Tom Jones Is a Healer of Bitter Historical Wounds
Quick geography lesson: Wales is that chunk of the U.K. that sticks out on the West side of the country, in between Ireland and England. Tom Jones is from Wales (not Las Vegas, as many Americans seem to believe), and universally loved in his home country. Like Scotland and Northern Ireland, Wales was colonized by the English, leaving the Welsh a little irritated (this is a massive understatement) to this day. What all that means is that putting Tom Jones on the bill on Monday was a smart way for the English to placate the Welsh for the day -- or, at least, for five minutes. Tom did the smart thing and gave "Delilah" a Spanish flare for the occasion, thereby ignoring the England/Wales thing entirely. God, he's amazing! (Full disclosure: I am Welsh and therefore hideously biased).
3. Kylie Didn't Just Have a Bad Outfit On
It was a bad outfit with meaning! And, in fact, clearly recognizable to Brits as a nod to Pearly Kings and Queens, who look like this...