Friday, 18 May 2012

I've got Diamond Jubilee Fever

Queen Elizabeth II, by Dorothy Wilding, 1952, © William Hustler and Georgina Hustler/ National Portrait Gallery, London
I put my hands up and admit that I, for one, am very excited about the forthcoming Queen's Diamond Jubilee festivities in London. It may be true that foreigners in general love the Royals more than the locals do, but I've noticed that there are some true Londoners who are also secretly looking forward to the pomp and ceremony associated with the Queen's 60th year on the throne. And there's the extra Bank Holiday. Even the Chairman of the Bank of England, Mervyn King's complains yesterday that the additional day off would keep the country in recession due to the loss of output during this period, doesn't seem to have dampened the mood in London.

And even the local BBC London News, which tries very hard to run negative stories about all things associated with the other major event in London this summer, the Olympics (each night we get complaints about the disruption to commuters during the games, about the non-availability of tickets etc.), seem to have accepted that negative bias on the Jubilee doesn't suit its brief as a national broadcaster. I was amazed when, the other night, it was announced that many of the bridges criss-crossing the Thames will be shut for the Jubilee weekend, there was no whinging about 'commuter chaos'.

I intend to enjoy the weekend of 2-5 June in style and have a really exciting programme planned. On the Sunday I will be watching the Jubilee pageant on the Thames from a wonderful vantage point at a friend's flat by the river, while sipping something refreshing. Thank you, lovely friend, for the invite to this exclusive party! I will of course be Tweeting and Instagramming (a word?) the whole thing. Today I am even more excited about this because it was announced yesterday that William and Kate will also take part and will be onboard the Spirit of Chartwell with the Queen. Now all I need to do is pray for good weather…!

On the Tuesday 5th June, the actual day of the Jubilee, the Englishman and I will be watching members of the Royal Family depart from the Palace to attend a Service of Thanksgiving at St Paul's Cathedral, the carriage procession back to the Palace, and a flypast, from another great vantage point around the Queen Victoria Memorial outside Buckingham Palace. I admit going to this event maybe a little overkill, but since I am in London on this special occasion, why not go a little crazy? I am, however, fully expecting the Englishman to fall asleep during this day-long event of watching the Royals come and go. Let's hope the seats are comfortable...

This is the official Emblem of the Jubilee and was drawn by 10-year-old Katherine Dewar.

Here's more about the Thames pageant, and here a general article about the Queen's Diamond Jubilee. Hope you have a great Jubilee weekend too!