Saturday, June 16, 2012

Trooping The Colours For Queen's Official Birthday

Today, June 16th marked the last of the major royal duties for Queen Elizabeth II before the London Olympics begin in July. She also announced her semi annual Birthday Honours List ehich includes Kenneth Branagh and Kate Winslet.

Although the Queen's actual birthday is in April, her official birthday is always celebrated in June...nicer weather usually. The birthday main feature is the Trooping Of The Colour ceremony at Horse Guards Parade in London where the queen is greeted and is reviewed by Her Majesty.

This photo of from 1982. The Queen is sidesaddle, which is how she always rode for the ceremony. The year before, someone shot at her along the Mall, but she is a spectacular horsewoman and brought Burmese, her horse, under control within seconds to the admiration of the crowd. There will be archived news videos of the event if you are interested.  Now the queen, at 86, watched from the grandstand. This year Prince Philip was recovered enough to join her. 

Most of the guardsmen you see are Coldstream Guards, the regiment my husband was a member of. He remembers  that at the Trooping of the Colour someone almost always fainted due to locked knees. If it was hot, which it sometimes is, there were more that went down...and were subsequently disciplined with a boring job for a bit & teased by the others. In the 1970s, the bearskin hat weighed in at 8-10 pounds. The framework is now much more lightweight and weighs in at 5-6 pounds. I found this photo of an example:

The family enjoyed the carriage ride back to Buckingham Palace after the ceremony. Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge rode with Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, as both William and his father Charles were on horseback.

 The family then gathered on the balcony of Buckingham Palace for a wave and a fly by.

 So happy official birthday Ma'am!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Queen's Jubilee Continues, Thames Pageant, Jubilee Concert

Today is Tuesday Cuppa Tea, but I don't have a teacup...just Diamond Jubilee news. Another great day yesterday. The Diamond Jubilee had it's Big Lunch midday which included Prince Charles and Camilla as surprise participants in Piccadilly.

Then it was on to the Thames Pageant. I watched it streaming from 5am Pacific time on the BBC website.

This was the scene as it crossed under the MIllenium foot bridge..a favorite river crossing site for us between the Embankment and the Southwark side.

There were over 20,000 folks on the river participating. There were 93 narrow boats which ply the canals of the UK and over 1,000 different vessels from 1 man kayaks to Uni crews, lifeboat brigades, a Venetian gondola and a fleet of boats who had actually participated in the fleet of boats who rescued people after the battle of Dunkirk.

The royal family braved the 2 hours in the worsening weather which culminated in a downpour.  Below is the Royal barge Gloriana which I posted about recently as it was being built.  I said at that time it would carry the Queen, but she and most of the family were actually on the much larger Spirit Of Chartwell.

 The GBP, or Great British Public as they are known, turned up trumps as usual and celebrated with an undampened spirit despite the uncooperative weather. I love the hand knit crown wooly hat made and worn by Janet Mead above, and the rain jackets seen all over during the festivities below.

Today, there is currently a live concert going on on a stage built around the Victoria Memorial, just outside the gates of Buckingham Palace.

I had to show you this. After the opening fireworks display, the revelers had the band perform of the Coldstream Guards of the Queen's guards, which is my husband's old regiment. Quite moving for us!

This is the line up for the concert, but Sir Paul McCartney is dur to end with 3 songs and that's not on the list. The Sing portion is organized by Andrew Lloyd Webber:

16:19 The line-up for tonight's concert is quite something. Apparently the Queen asked for Kylie's Timebomb especially. I'm most looking forward to Madness singing Our House from the top of....The Queen's House! And Elton John's rendition of I'm Still Standing which either seems appropriate or completely inappropriate.
• Madness – Our House (From roof of the palace)
• Robbie Williams – Mack the Knife/Let Me Entertain You
• Gary Barlow and Cheryl – Need You Now
• Ed Sheeran – The A Team
• Alfie Bow and Renee Fleming – Somewhere (From palace balcony)
• Gareth Malone and Military Wives – National Anthem
• Shirley Bassey – Diamonds are Forever
• Tom Jones – Delilah/Mama Told Me Not To Come
• Cliff Richard – Medley
• Grace Jones – Slave To The Rhythm
• Paul McCartney – Medley
• Jessie J – Domino
• Annie Lennox – There Must Be An Angel
• JLS – Everybody in Love/She Makes Me Wanna
• Alfie Boe – O Solo Mio
• Jools Holland and Ruby Turner – You Are So Beautiful
• Renee Fleming – Un Bel Di Vedremo
• Lang Lang – Hungarian Rhapsody
• Elton John – Your Song/Still Standing/Crocodile Rock
• Gary Barlow and the Commonwealth Band featuring the Military Wives – Sing
• Stevie Wonder – Medley
• Kylie Minogue - Medley (including Timebomb)

The concert will be followed by the National Beacon by Queen Elizabeth, the first lighting that began in New Zealand yesterday. I leave you with a Jubilee highlights video from the Guardian that is great!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Diamond Jubilee Celebrations June 2, 2012

Today was the opening of the official Diamond Jubilee Celebration Weekend. Diamond Jubilee festivities officially began with a 41-gun salute fired by the King's Troop, Royal Horse Artillery at Horse Guards Parade in central London.
Even is celebrating!

The queen then went to the Epsom Derby at Epsom race course. She was greeted by the Red Devil Parachute team who parachuted into the racecourse with Union Jacks. The Queen usually attends the Epsom Derby, usually reading the papers over the race breakfast in the Royal Enclosure.

The Derby was won by a horse with the romantic name of Camelot. Quite fitting!

This is the last of the public engagements for today. Tomorrow has 2 big elements:
 Sunday 3 June, 2012
The Big Jubilee Lunch: Building on the already popular Big Lunch initiative, people will be encouraged to share lunch with neighbours and friends as part of the Diamond Jubilee celebrations. This may take the form of a traditional street party or a picnic lunch in small or larger groups. This event is being organised by the Big Lunch. Find out more.
Also: (I'm really looking forward to this...for more, see my previous post with videos of the building of Her Majesty's Barge Gloriana)
The Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant: This event will take place on the Thames and consist of up to 1,000 boats assembled from across the UK, the Commonwealth and around the world. The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh will travel in the Royal Barge which will form the centrepiece of the flotilla. Find out more
Approximate timings are as follows:
14:30BST – The Queen embarks the Royal barge, the Spirit of Chartwell, near Albert Bridge  
16:15BST  – The Royal Barge comes alongside HMS President (Royal Naval Reserve Unit), near Tower Bridge 

A reminder that Time Was Antiques still has a few of the English bone china Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee mugs available. Click on the photo below for more info.

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