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Posts tagged ‘Diamond Jubilee’

National pride in a Diamond Jubilee Spectacular

As the Diamond Jubilee weekend draws to an end, there is a unanimous consensus that London has never looked so good, nor love for the Royal Family reached such an all-time high. Today’s climax of the Diamond Jubilee celebrations brought with it all the spectacular pomp and ceremony for which Britain is famed around the globe, awe-inspiring parades of gold and red, plush uniforms, glittering livery, grandly dressed horses and the stunning uniformity of hundreds of cavalry riding with precision along union jack flapping and crowd-lined streets. At its centre, the Queen and the Royals were a delight to watch, humbled and stunned by the incredible show of public support, as they made their way back to Buckingham Palace which last night played host to an unbeatably brilliant star-stunned concert and fireworks spectacle, and which today brought the celebrations to a glorious climax with the Queen’s balcony appearance and Royal Air Force fly past.

Words alone cannot properly express the full glorious extent of the past weekend, when spirits have run so high, and all the British and millions from Commonwealth countries around the world have joined together in giving shared thanks to the Queen for 60 years in which she has sacrificed herself for the good, the stability and the strengthening of all her peoples. The party which has resulted shows that London knows how to celebrate, even when times are down, and as the Diamond Jubilee has awed across three days of brilliant spectacle, we can only now sit back and look forward in feverish anticipation towards the Olympic festivities which are still to come.

Norms fly the flag for the Diamond Jubilee procession (2012 © Nicholas de Lacy-Brown, pen on paper)

Since words are insufficient to express the brilliance with which London erupted into Jubilee carnival this weekend, I have scanned the internet, collecting together a series of photos which show just how incredible London looked as millions celebrated this weekend. But before you take a look at those, cast your eye over this little sketch which I made as the celebrations progressed. For in Norm world, they too have celebrated the Diamond Jubilee, lining the streets, waving the flag, and celebrating 60 fantastic years of their Queen. Long may it continue!

Note: these photos (apart from my sketch above) are from the internet. Appropriate copyright for the images is shown where the source was indicated on the bottom of the photos. Where a source is not indicated, the copyright belongs to either the BBC or the Daily Mail websites. 

Diamond Jubilee Pageant: A Right Royal Wash-out

You have to feel for the Queen. Sixty years of rule and 86 years of age, and when the time finally came to celebrate her Diamond Jubilee, she had to stand out in the cold and damp for some three hours, gritting her teeth and ensuring none of the thousands who came out to watch could view her displeasure. As usual, HRH Queen Elizabeth II has put everyone else before her now weather-beaten person.

After a week of almost Mediterranean heat, this weekend has once again seen London dip right back into the wintery monotony which has hung over it like a bad smell for the bulk of 2012, right at the very time when two and a half years of planning reach their peak, and the country goes into Diamond Jubilee celebration-mode with a four day diary packed almost exclusively with outdoor activities. You also have to feel for the thousands of people who were out waiting hours by the river today to see a glimpse of HRH upon the Royal Barge, and the thousand or so ships which made up London’s biggest River Pageant for some 400 years. Not only must they have freezed (I, sensibly, wasn’t one of them), but they’ve probably all caught the flu.

The broadcasters kept on telling us that the weather didn’t dampen Jubilee spirits, but come on, let’s get real here – half of the pageant could barely be seen through the mist which descended over London, covering up much of the newly-constructed Shard in its midsts (it is, after all, the tallest building in Western Europe, but more than usual of it’s lofty facade disappeared today) or because of the rain drops covering the lenses of TV cameras. Meanwhile the large finale of hellicopters and goodness knows what other treats had to be cancelled, while a group of poor sodden opera singers desperately carried on until the end, dripping from head to toe atop their boat like a group of stranded sailors, no doubt praying that they would avoid electrocution from all of the drenched microphones wired around their person.

That is not to say that the good old British spirit did not live on, making the most of a bad situation (every cloud has a silver lining and all that jazz) but just imagine how good it could have been if the clouds, which feel insuperably magnetised towards the UK soil, got lost, for once.

Norms at the Diamond Jubilee Pageant (2012 © Nicholas de Lacy-Brown, pen on paper)

Here’s hoping for a bit of sun tomorrow, and that the Queen is suitably wrapped up with a hot water bottle tonight.

Diamond Jubilee Weekend: Let the street parties begin!

They’ve strung out the bunting and covered cup cakes and cookies and muffins in red, white and blue. The tables are being set up where cars normally dominate, huge, long white sheets become makeshift tablecloths on a street-long banqueting space, the dishes are assembled, each decorated with a token miniature union jack, and the cars are formally banished, as neighbours gather together for the event of the decade: the Diamond Jubilee Street party is here!

It’s a rather anachronistic tradition, but one which is all the more necessary now that neighbourhoods have become soulless and people who live side by side barely know each other’s names. Back in the middle of the 20th Century, when the street party was a more regular occurrence (notable street parties included celebrations at the close of the Second World War and the Queen’s Coronation itself, in 1953) street parties were probably more of a naturally organised occasion. Neighbours lived in one another’s front rooms, borrowing cups of sugar, nosing into each other’s gossip, and standing around on the street corners, having a chat. But as society has become gradually more transient, with people moving around for career changes, schooling changes, and moves abroad as part of the gradual trend towards globalisation, the idea of neighbourhood has been relegated to soap dramas on TV. In today’s age, with neighbourly relations at an all time low, and english reserve causing a general aptitude towards individual isolation, that the age of the street party is starting to catch on again, as people harp back to the old days, seeking a return to the days of neighbourhood values, when your street was a haven, a place where children played safely, and people felt the support not just of their closer relatives, but of the people living all around them.

The Norms’ Diamond Jubilee Street Party (2012 © Nicholas de Lacy-Brown) (Pen and pencil on paper)

What with the Golden Jubilee ten years ago, the Royal Wedding last year, and the Diamond Jubilee now upon us, the street party is on the up, and this weekend will see the union jack go into overdrive, not just in London, but all over the UK. Naturally, the Norms are not likely to miss out on the action, and here in Normville, the Norms have missed none of the Jubilee spirit, stringing out the bunting, decking the tables with cakes, and sandwiches, jellies and bottles of bubbly, as they fly the flag high in honour of a magnificent 60 year reign of our Queen, Elisabeth II. May the jubilee weekend begin!!

The coronation of HRH Queen Elizabeth II

A street party back in 1977 for the Silver Jubilee

London is filled to bursting point with bunting and union jacks

PS For the best jubilee cake ever known to man, check out the award winning cake made by my dearest friend Celia on her blog, Lady Aga.

© Nicholas de Lacy-Brown and The Daily Norm, 2001-2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of the material, whether written work or artwork, included within The Daily Norm without express and written permission from The Daily Norm’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Nicholas de Lacy-Brown and The Daily Norm with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.