Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Diamond Jubilee

This summer the eyes of the world will be on England. Now, I don't mean to be rude, but I couldn't care less about the London Olympics... well, ok, the rumors that the Queen is in a James Bond parody that they filmed for the opening ceremonies is pretty cool, but that's because it's the Queen. That's why I'm excited. THE QUEEN! This weekend marks the main weekend for her Diamond Jubilee. Why it's in June when she was really made Queen in February, and not crowned until June of the following year, meaning 2013 is 60 years from the coronation, is beside the point. This weekend Queen Elizabeth II (or the first if you're in Scotland) will have been on the throne for 60 years!

This is the celebration I have been waiting for. Kate and Will, who cares! There are tons of royals and there will be tons more royal weddings. I'll easily live to see Kate and Will's kids getting married. But will any of us live to see a queen reign for 60 years again? NO! The combination of early coronation with longevity is unheard of. The last time England had a Diamond Jubilee it was Queen Victoria, and before that George III almost made it but was a few months shy. We're talking this event is the biggest event we will see in terms of Royal splendor ever. Except maybe if she holds on for another four years and does a "screw you Victoria, longest reigning monarch ever dance." Four more years! Four more years!

What can we expect? Well, first, we can expect her to be so awesome she bends the laws of space and time to make May's bank holiday weekend in June. She then went one further and has everyone taking a holiday for the coronation itself on the 5th. So four day weekend yo! I myself will be observing this four day weekend, and if anyone stateside denies me, they'll have the Queen to answer to.

So this coming weekend is the "heart" of the Jubilee Celebration with Epsom Derby, the Big Lunch and the Jubilee Pageant. So horse races, lots of block parties and food, but the big one, the Jubilee Pageant has me actually contemplating waking up at 4AM to start watching the live coverage on BBC America... almost... I have a DVR. "After lunch on Sunday, a flotilla of one thousand boats, many adorned with decorations and Union Jacks, will be launched down the Thames as part of the Jubilee Pageant. There will be music, geysers and even a floating belfry. The Queen herself will be on the barge from her beloved Royal Yacht Britannia." Can it get any more pageanty than that? Well, there is the whole concert on Monday, and the lighting of the final beacon, the last in a chain of more than 2000 beacons that are throughout the UK and Commonwealth countries. Then the Thanksgiving service at St. Paul's. The National Portrait Gallery is hosting The Queen: Art and Image, an exhibit that includes paintings and photographs by Lucian Freud, Cecil Beaton, Annie Leibowitz, and many others. One wonders if that Lucian Freud is the one the Queen hated and was bought by Deborah Mitford... I could go on and on about all the splendors. Suffice it to say I will just be sitting around in proper British Regalia, taking it all in, floating on a sea of tea.

What's proper British regalia for me you might ask? You should also be asking for yourself, because, this does require preparation, seeing as you have to get your hands on a corgi. Can't get a real one? A stuffed animal will suffice, though really, you should be prepared, you've had 60 years. For that Royal wave, might I suggest a nice pair of elbow length gloves, white of course. Then some nice pearls to set off the ensemble. A crown of some sort would be nice, but perhaps disrespectful, so go with some sort of interesting hat or fascinator. You are now all ready, get that tea steeping and you are set.


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