When on a fateful night in August, 1914 the Viscount Grey prophesied that the lamps of Europe were going out and that "we shall not see them lit again in our life time," his prophetic eye did not envisage London yesterday. It's streets tricked in colors of red, white, blue and gold; its buildings flooded with many colored lights; Westminster Abbey, described in one account as "a poem in old ivory," and Buckingham Palace a "stately miracle in white"--in such dress London toasted King George's silver jubilee so proudly as to make one feel there had never been a war nor was one in the making.
In the quarter century since George V began his reign many sweeping changes have taken place in the Empire. The powers of the House of Lords have been reduced; the status of the dominions has been redefined; her economic policy has been revised; changes have taken place in Parliament--but however threatening the adjustments have been the vast Empire remains fundamentally unchanged. King George, if not supreme in constitutional power, at least reigns supreme in the affections of his people. It is this loyalty to the Monarchy which has enabled England to enact novel negislation and still adhere to the stability of customs.
Yet, as many have pointed out, how long the lights of England will remain bright, largely depends on the situation in Europe proper. The growing recognition of connexions with a perilously unstable continent has caused many misgivings as to the future of Britain and of the world. It is perhaps this ominous clued which in some quarters dampened the rejoicing at the jubilee. But, as one observer put it, Londoners are so used to dark clouds that yesterday only a real cannon ball from across the channel could have disturbed their King's celebration.