Oh, this does all bring out my party-pooper streak.
I've always been opposed to the monarchy, I think. Ever since I could really understand what it was. I've called myself a republican in the anti-monarchist sense, the Irish sense, but not, as you might suspect, the American sense.
I'd like to say that this left-wingism runs in my veins. Indeed, my great-great grandfather is briefly mentioned in this very socialist link (do a search for 'Taggart' in that article if you have a burning interest in my family tree, which of course, you do). But realistically, I've got loads and loads of relatives and ancestors largely due to an Irish Catholic background on one side, and a significant proportion of them have wildly different political views, and that's understandable.
Britain's gone a bit crazy in the last couple of weeks, though. They're selling any kind of British flag-merchandise they can get their hands on, which is surely something a monarchist or patriot would be opposed to- using a flag for commercial gain? I don't remember all this fuss 10 years ago, but I do remember being in church at my grandparent's house near Chorley, and not standing for the national anthem. About 25% of the congregation didn't stand, largely because we're terrifying Papists, but 10 years on, I feel a bit like a lonely republican.
Oh, I dunno. I know I'm grumpy. I think it's fine to love a country. I don't think it has to be your country (hello, my name's 72stroopwafels and I'm trying hard to be Dutch- another country with a monarchy!), but I also think it's fine to love a country that happens to be the one you were born in, as long as that's not obligatory. I have a complicated but essentially affectionate view of Britain. I've been known to loudly sing the Welsh national anthem after I've had enough ciders, because I'm very fond of Wales. But I don't like the idea that for this weekend, I'm expected to put my strong objection to the monarchy to one side in the name of having a nice street party and a bit of Jubilee trifle. I'm not going to take part, because I don't believe in it, and it wouldn't sit right with my conscience to be out there bedecked in red, white and blue, in the knowledge that I've got a fundamental objection.
(obviously complaining about this on my blog won't NECESSARILY and DIRECTLY lead to the abolition of the monarchy, but I'm hoping to attract fellow republicans like a lonely siren and then we can all be grumpy together)