Monday, March 26, 2012

HRH Queen Elizabeth II - Diamond Jubilee Celebrations

Trafalgar Square, London

London is scheduled to be a hive of activity this summer of 2012, what with the usual social calendar of Wimbledon, Ascot (okay so Ascot is not technically in London but surely I can be given some license here?), various outdoor concerts and the like, it is hosting the Olympics and the Paralympics from July to August. However, before getting carried away about these great games it would be dreadful to overlook or not give a big hello to our Queen as she celebrates her Diamond Jubilee. Afterall, has anywhere else celebrated such an auspicious occasion? So we are justly proud to be able to say that we are all looking forward to the Diamond Jubilee celebrations which are officially scheduled for the first weekend in June. Hip, hip for a four day Bank Holiday weekend. Naturally this is not just a London celebration, it is a national celebration and our Queen (with Prince Philip) has already begun to travel through the isles and will be visiting England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Selfishly we will take a look at the events planned for London and the surrounding areas.
A few events of note for your calendar are:
· The Diamond Jubilee Pageant Scheduled for Saturday 19th May. This historic event will see nearly 2,500 troops of the Royal Navy, Army and Royal Air Force parade through Windsor Castle and the town before Her Majesty the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh.
· The big weekend of 2nd to 5th June – the Bank Holiday weekend
o Saturday 2nd June will see Her Majesty attend the Epsom Derby. Tickets will no doubt be like diamond dust to obtain now that this has been announced. Yes, indeed a trip to the shops will be called for if you are fortunate enough to be going. Do I hear Harvey Nicks and Coast calling?
o Sunday 3rd June sees not one, but two events. The Big Jubilee Lunch (where anyone can hold a Big Jubilee Lunch) which is essentially a street party. Don’t forget to check with your local council for details and to ensure that you’re protected if engaging in said street party. The second and much looked forward event is the Thames River Pageant. Up to one thousand boats are expected to muster on the River Thames and Her Majesty is expected to lead the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant. Will it be necessary to avoid the Big Jubilee lunch and have a sandwich in order to get a good vantage point to see the flotilla? Methinks this may be necessary.
o Monday 4th June – just as took place for the Golden Jubilee in 2002, there will once again be an outdoor concert at Buckingham Palace. The national ballot is now closed, so nix to getting any tickets if you missed the ballot. If applied for tickets check the post this week.
o Tuesday 5th June – the final day of the ‘official’ celebrations will find the Queen and members of the Royal Family attending a national Service of Thanksgiving at St Paul’s Cathedral. There will also be a carriage procession along the Mall to Buckingham Palace in which the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will also be participating. Yes, so all those who love William and Catherine are in for a treat!

High Tea

If necessary lobby whomever you need to lobby to ensure that these events are televised if you’re unable to be in London in person. It’s also good to know that this incredible occasion will be celebrated throughout the world as many countries will be lighting beacons to commemorate the occasion.
Lest we forget, quite a few galleries and museums will be and are currently hosting special exhibitions and that from the Victoria and Albert Museum will be going on tour as it is portraits of The Queen by Cecil Beaton. So there are plenty of opportunities for getting involved or experiencing the celebrations, not just the Bank Holiday weekend.
It would be remiss of me not to mention that Fortnum and Mason, that most excellent of establishments, purveyor of fine foods and The Queen’s grocers has created specialty treats to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee and it has already specially decorated the store both internally and externally. If you’ve heard about the great Easter Egg Hunt then it would not surprise you to know that they have created one of the Easter Eggs in commemoration of the Diamond Jubilee and it can be found in one of their windows. 1st March saw The Queen, the Duchess of Cornwall and the Duchess of Cambridge visit the store. Check out the Fortnum and Mason website if you’re interested in seeing what they wore.
Lest we forget that great British tradition, Afternoon Tea, it must be mentioned that The Ritz has changed its Afternoon Tea menu, for the first time ever in light of the Diamond Jubilee to include pretty much only British fare with all ingredients sourced in the UK and wonderful British cakes such as lemon drizzle cake. Just be aware that the assortment of Afternoon Tea Pastries and Cakes will not be the same everyday. It seems like the perfect time to visit The Ritz again just to sample and ensure the new offerings come up to scratch. Taxi!

Yes, we will create a picture gallery of photos over the next few weeks leading up to and including the Bank Holiday Weekend. We can’t promise that we will be able to get pics of HRH Queen Elizabeth II, but we will try our best to at least see if we can convey the excitement and atmosphere.

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