‘Such a landmark is worth celebrating’

WHETHER you love them or hate them, or like many people are largely indifferent, there will be no easy escape from the royals over the coming days.

Jubilee celebrations will be taking over dozens of streets across the Lothians and dominate a large part of the television schedules.

Some will lap it all up, from Madness serenading Her Majesty with a rendition of Our House from the roof of Buckingham Palace to the neighbourhood kids wearing homemade crowns and playing beneath red, white and blue bunting. Others will make it their business to avoid as much of the hoopla as possible.

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Whichever camp you belong to, only the most entrenched cynic would deny the fortitude which the Queen has brought to her role over the past 60 years.

Such a landmark in anyone’s working life is worth celebrating. For many, this kind of national occasion is a great chance to share in something positive with family, friends and neighbours, from across the generations. In an ideal world, everyone who wants to should be free to make the most of opportunities like this. So it is a shame that a lot of people in Edinburgh are not getting the chance to join in as much as they would have liked.

Unlike most of the rest of the UK, including large parts of Scotland, the schools will be open in Edinburgh on Monday, before breaking off again for the day on Tuesday. OK, Monday’s Bank Holiday is an English thing, but that has not stopped Glasgow, Dundee and Aberdeen, for example, joining in.

It is not as though it would have been difficult for the Capital to follow suit. Just last week, the schools were off for an in-service day, on the Tuesday after the traditional Victoria Day break.

Wouldn’t it have made more sense to have moved that training day to this Monday instead? That would have avoided the situation where many parents are on holiday, but their children are expected to turn up to class. And the teachers would be able to sit at home watching Elton John and co instead of sitting in potentially half-full classrooms.