The Diamond Jubilee…

I wasn’t going to write about the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee today, but this seemed churlish as it really is what everyone is talking about in the UK (be it as they love her, loathe her or are just grateful for four days off work) and whilst I have no memories of the coronation or the celebrations in 1977, I do have some drunken hazy memoires of the party in 2002 in London. I have also actually met the Queen, no really I have. I will tell you all about it but before I do lets have a lovely black and white picture of the event that people all over the globe are celebrating…

So how did I meet the Queen? Well back in 2002 I was working in London’s West End at the Apollo Victoria which was showing ‘Bombay Dreams’. No, I wasn’t in the show, I was however one of the supervisors front of house and when it was announced that the Queen was coming for our British Red Cross charity Gala evening as you can imagine everything went a little bit surreal and rather bonkers. So much planning, so much etiquette to follow (don’t look her in the eyes unless she looks at you is so not true, but don’t speak to her unless your spoken too is true), and this was before the event even started. On the night we had huge dogs walking through the building along with huge men all in black body armour, not for the show all for security (MI5 no less), and it had been agreed that the Queen would only talk to our Theatre Manager (my boss) and be escorted through the building by him. Yet as she walked in and saw the staff all lined up in our purple finery she came and said a quick hello, and again when she walked onto the stage later. It was a brief moment with her none of us expected and yet it warmed us all to her.

Odd then that the whole Jubilee celebrations leave me like this…

That’s right, it’s me hiding behind a big Union Jack cushion like the monsters have appeared on Doctor Who. I am not sure I think we need all the fuss. It’s the four days… do we really need that? What happens at 70 years, a week off? There is also the ‘how much is it costing the UK to do this vs. How much we will get in tourism debate’. I am much more a ‘the Queen is good as a historical tradition and tourist pull’ kind of fella than a heartened royalist if I am honest, but I won’t open that can of worms, I will possibly be opening a can/pot of coronation chicken later though (well, if I am better as I seem to have stomach flu) as we are having an indoor jubilee picnic round our gaff shortly.

I have managed to make the jubilee about books slightly though as, between watching it on the telly, stuffing my face should I shift my stomach bug and recording part of tomorrows episode of The Readers, I will be reading a book set on the jubilee in 1977 called, well, ‘Jubilee’ by Shelley Harris. I am only about a third of the way through (with someone else in the house being in and out of hospital and then me getting this bug my reading has gone right of kilter, I had aimed to review this book aptly today) but it is very good, it’s all about a photograph taken at a street party and how what you see on the surface isn’t always what it going on behind the image, very clever.

So that’s just a little Diamond Jubilee rambling post for you, what are you doing today? Have you filled your house with bunting and treats? Hosting a ‘big lunch’ (which I wanted to do but failed to organise) or a street party? Ignoring it completely? I would love to know. Have a lovely day of jubilation whatever you are doing.

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12 Comments

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12 responses to “The Diamond Jubilee…

  1. I must get hold of that book… I have vague memories of it, as I was a punkish student at the time and spent the day – er- slightly the worse for wear. Thank heavens there were no pictures of the street party we crashed. Phew.

    As a self-employed editor I’m spending the day working and grumbling. Four day holiday? Humbug. Grrrr.

    • Tasmania’s Jubilee celebrations? There is a bit of fuss in the news and the papers but to see the festivities we need to be up all night so I don’t see a lot of that happening. Though the retired devotees may. Many of us did glue ourselves to the tv for the wedding. As for me I will be going to Sydney today to catch up with a friend and look in the bookshops I never get to visit. The book, Jubilee sounds interesting. Enjoy your festivities and get better soon.

      • I had forgotten about the time difference. It is nice to see other parts of the commonwealth are doing something though.

        Hope you enjoyed the bookshop?

    • I only heard of the Jubilee book because it was on the Richard and Judy Summer list. I have now learnt that it has been up for things like the Commonwealth Award. I am amazed its not been pushed more… Or maybe I’ve just not noticed it. Oops!

  2. Silver jubilee memories are just about the earliest I have, I was 3 so it must have made an impact. As my friend has just pointed out our day was mostly getting lost on the motorway and laughing with lesbians about Ken Dodd and trying to read War and Peace on the trans siberian express. It couldn’t have been better.

    • Dear Desperate reader, you were reading War & Peace aged 3? Or is “our day” referring to 2012. In which case I am fascinated to know more about your train journey and the laughing lesbians. Approve strongly of your final sentence!

      • I loved this memory, but I didn’t even twig a three year old would not be reading War and Peace hahaha. We need more insights from this story I think.

    • What a brilliant memory this is “mostly getting lost on the motorway and laughing with lesbians about Ken Dodd and trying to read War and Peace on the trans siberian express” thats just brilliant, brilliant, brilliant.

  3. I’m American but love your country. I enjoy hearing what is going thru “typical” Brits heads about all this. I’m happy for Queen Elizabeth and the Thames parade was totally amazing but at nearly $20 million dollars, it seemed like a bit too much hoopla. ;)

    • Yes but the tax payers didn’t pay for that, it was donated by ‘private parties’ and apparently the amount we will make in tourism is crazy. Isn’t it awful that it comes down to mixing monetary with history?

  4. I caught the train for Geneva and am currently working at CERN.

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