In the past year, something strange has happened to me; I’ve developed a strange, new obsession. It crept upon me quite suddenly, almost without me realising. I can pinpoint the start of it - April last year. The date of The Royal Wedding to be exact; the day when as a nation, we Brits did what we do best, put on a fabulous show of pomp steeped in tradition; cheered and waved our Union Jack flags, as Wills and Kate said, ‘I Do’.
And so I confess, I have become a Royalist. Is this symptomatic of my ageing years? It’s rather worrying really. When I was a child, my grandmother used to have two gilt edged souvenir plates of The Queen and The Queen Mother proudly displayed on the top of her piano. How I scorned as I became a trend following teenager. How naff. Why on earth was she giving display space to THOSE? I’ll admit, I haven’t succumbed to the lure of a Royal Crown Derby gilt edged plate yet, but, increasingly, I am finding it most difficult to walk past a newsstand and not stop to look at a picture of Kate Middleton. Possibly, I think I might have a little bit of a girl crush on the lovely Kate. I think she’s fantastic. It can’t be easy trying to assimilate yourself into one of the most famous families on earth, but from what I can tell, she seems to be managing it adeptly. The world’s media scrutinises her hair and make up, the size of her tummy (is she pregnant?) daily, and then there are the fashion police; critiquing each and every choice she makes. My favourite ever Kate outfit is this blush coloured sequined Jenny Packham dress she wore to a Gala in the US shortly after getting married. I HEART that dress. I WANT, WANT, WANT IT.(Even if I have nowhere to wear it. I’d just like to try it on, just once, and be a princess for a day, perhaps I could do the washing up in it, or wear it whilst I cook Pip’s tea. )
|Now, where's my tiara?|
I’ll admit, my new found royalism is not ubiquitous, it’s limited to certain generations of the Royal family. The youngsters ( namely Will, Harry and Kate) all pique my interest. Who could not feel a warm affection for the Wales boys after everything they’ve endured in life? However, the Queen’s own children do very little for me. But, a generation further back, when it comes to the Grand Dame of them all; her Majesty, I’m suddenly suckered in again. I have found myself with a new found admiration for the Queen. Maybe I am turning into my Grandmother after all.
I watched the BBC’s Diamond Queen documentary series screened at the start of this year, expecting to view it with half an eye, as I multitasked; blogging/tweeting/facebooking. But quite soon, I found myself transfixed. The story of a woman who became Queen at 25, in the shadow of the death of her father, is quite remarkable. Sixty years on she still presides at the helm with the same everlasting sense of duty to her country. Of course, her role comes with great privilege but what I had not accounted for, until I watched this well made documentary, was the great degree of self sacrifice that comes with it too. Whatever you think of the Royal family, Queen Elizabeth has to has to applauded for her dedication to her cause.
So, on Jubilee weekend, I will be celebrating the achievements of the Diamond Queen. I plan to make my way down to the Thames to soak up history in the making, and watch the flotilla of 1000 ships in the River Pageant. And at some point during the weekend, I plan to hold a traditional afternoon tea. I’ll be getting the teapot out; warming it properly, and adding ‘a bag for the pot.’ I plan to make some cream cheese and cucumber sandwiches (crusts off obviously) and bake some scones, and perhaps even some cupcakes too. After an excess of finger food and sweet delicacies, I plan to sit and watch history unfold on TV. If I had one wish, it would be for someone to share my enthusiasm and enjoy the moment with me. Sadly, it seems my friends, my husband and my son aren’t bothered; they’ve all said they’ll come for the free food, but after that, it looks like I’ll be waving my patriotic flag on my own.
Are there any other secret Royalists out there or am I truly alone?