Yes, we're still here and she's in the sun with Boris! I hope you're enjoying my moments of Nostalgia. For number 4, I just had to remember that historic event of last year which we celebrated upstairs as well. The Queen's Diamond Jubilee! (Originally published on 08/06/2012).
What a weekend we have had in the UK!
Just in case anyone has not heard our Queen celebrated her Diamond Jubilee. She actually ascended to the throne while asleep at Treetops in Kenya during the night of February 6th, 1952. So, the exact time of her change in status, from Princess Elizabeth to Queen Elizabeth II, is unknown. What is even more amazing, for young people to comprehend today, is that she didn't even know for a further day. Communications were very different in 1952 and it took time to make the various connections at the numerous telephone exchanges between England and Africa for a phone call.
The young Queen, with her Consort, cut short the overseas tour and returned home. Earlier this year, she renewed the vow she had made at the age of 21 to 'serve' her people and the Commonwealth for the rest of her life. Now, she is 86, we celebrated her birthday in April. How many people who, if they are lucky enough, to have a job for life would carry on at 86? I can't think of many who would take that option voluntarily when they have money and a choice.
Last weekend, we saw that the Monarchy is thriving, and with the recent marriage of Prince William, it appears to have a secure future. It is a very different situation from the 1990's when it seemed like the House of Windsor was crumbling.
The four day weekend began with an afternoon at the races. On Sunday, there was a pageant on the River Thames, a flotilla of 1,000 boats sailing along. Sadly, it seemed as if our weather was unappreciative of our celebrations. It was more like freezing June, than a flaming one. Apparently, it was extremely breezy and by the end pouring with rain. Despite this, the final barge, had choristers on it singing patriotic songs. Heroically, although they looked like drowned rats, they carried on singing. The Queen and Prince Philip were standing on HMS Belfast for the entire afternoon and the last scenes of the 90 year old Prince were of him 'moving to the music'.
On Monday afternoon he was admitted to hospital and missed the rest of the celebrations. The show went on, in the evening there was a concert with music from all of the six decades of the Queen's reign. It was spectacular, outside Buckingham Palace! It was still freezing cold but at least the rain stayed away. Then, on Tuesday, there was a Service of Thanksgiving at St. Paul's Cathedral and later a traditional balcony appearance of The Queen, Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall, Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry. The Monarch with the next three in succession to the Throne. The crowning glory to these appearances is the 'fly past' of the 'Red Arrows'. They give a spectacular air display of red, white and blue smoke!
The weekend, as Prince Charles said, was the fourth Jubilee and he had the medals to prove it. We have celebrated the silver, ruby and gold. Who has seats for the Platinum? If our Queen is fortunate enough to be able to serve us into her 90's she will be the oldest and longest serving Monarch. The only other Monarch to achieve 60 years was Queen Victoria who reigned for 64 years. Go Ma'am Go!
British subjects and citizens were celebrating around the world. We may have lost the Empire but we still know how to throw a party and celebrate. We had bunting and Union Jack's everywhere. On Monday, there were beacons being lit, the final one lit by the Queen at the end of the concert. Despite the weather street parties were held up and down the land at various times.
Are you wondering why I have photographs of my books and Ice House Pool? Why do I have no pretty pictures of these festivities. Er...I stayed at home, in the warm, watching it all on television. I did go to the party at our library the Monday before and I was around when the bunting was going up at the Farm on Friday but Saturday until Monday, saw me and cheesecake, glued to the goggle box! I had a flag over my mantelpiece; it is now on the fridge. It was left over at the Farm on Friday!
Well, that weekend is over, tonight another event starts. . .Euro football. It's football fever for a few weeks. Then, in England, we are hosting the Olympics and have been preparing for seven years. The torch is being carried around Britain; it is coming through West Bromwich at the end of the month and I am looking forward to seeing it. Maybe, you'll even get photographs! I was concerned about the competitors surviving Heathrow airport I am now more concerned about them arriving at all. We have gale force winds here and tremendous rain with danger of more flooding but still there is the hosepipe ban.
Thought for the week: Do not let it rain on your parade!
Or as Sofia would say: STAY POSITIVE!
Yes, I am saying STAY POSITIVE!
Love to you all until next Friday, Sofia xxx