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Thursday, 10 May 2012

Jubilee Me


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?


12 comments:

  1. What a great post. I imagine you grab the idea for a post and then let the thought processes mature over a number of days before writing. I can't say I am a Royalist BUT I did really enjoy the Wedding last year. I also think Wills and Kate are rather relatable. Kate is so demure and elegant and very, very attractive, and very professional in her new role. She has added real aplomb to the royals. Love your idea of an afternoon tea party - sounds fab! I have a confession about an obsession too ... but that can wait for a blog post! Ps loved the title of this post!

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  2. Thank you. Sometimes the idea for a post comes and then I find I don't get a chance to actually write it for 2 or 3 weeks..so I guess in that sense, it does have time to ferment a little. I wish I had more time, there are some meatier posts I'd love to write, but I don't think I'll ever find the time to get to!

    Will await your obsession post with interest...x

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  3. Did you have a bug in my house?! My mum and I were having the same conversation the day this post ping-ponged through on my email! I was buried in the OK Anniversary Special while J2 was running riot as I was very slightly obsessed with the Fashions of Kate special feature lol! I too love the Jenny Packham dress. We did 'A Very Royal Afternoon Tea' (well lunch) for the Royal Wedding last year and we are doing it again, only bigger and better this year for the Jubilee - and very excited about it - even cracking out my Royal Albert China (which I never use, solely because it can't go in the dish washer haha).

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    1. Hurrah! I'm not alone. Sometimes I think you and I were cut from the same cloth. I love making an occasion of events like this. It's memorable and fun. Very impressed that you have some Royal Albert China!

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  4. I don't normally admit this publicly, but I have to confess to a soft spot for the royals. I think it's because my Grannie absolutely loved them and gave us lots of royal-related gifts trough the years. I still use my Queen Mother tea towel! Great post - you are not alone!

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    1. Thank you for sharing your secret. Makes me feel so much better that I'm not alone :0). A Queen Mum tea towel...that's probably a collector's item!

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  5. no secret here, we shall be having a street party like we did last year, cakes, food, champagne & tea! We all decorate our front gardens with bunting (& speedily tidy them up!). Am loving all the Kate fashions too, must remind myself am not 30 anymore!

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    1. I'd love it if we were having a street party. Would be so much fun. Enjoy!

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  6. I'd be round at yours wearing my union jack cape if I lived closer. I'm a massive fan of the royal family, more so since living abroad and realising how wonderfully they represent the UK. I think Kate is divine too. I love how she dresses - simple but always so polished.

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    1. I'd love to have a party with you FFHM..you could bring your special Royal Wedding cup too!

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  7. I'm not a Royalist - I'm very American but I am a UK-fan. At times I fantasize that I was born and raised there. Especially London.

    I've never even crossed the pond yet to visit. I have a cousin who grew up there. Her mom is American and had swift love affair with my uncle. But they didn't work and she left him pregnant. I'm not sure the details but she ended up having her child in London and met and married a London man. My cousin has known no other life though she has duel citizenship so she visits the states yearly. I'm the only one in my family that HAS NOT met her! One day I'd like to meet her on her own soil!!!

    Anyway, I've always been attracted to the UK anything. Probably because really young I became obsessed with the Beatles. Doctor Who. Etc.

    I imagine if I lived in London I'd be a Royalist too. I'm pretty sure of it.

    I teared up with Princess Di died. I'll never forget that day. I watched the news for a week.

    How do you feel about Big Ben being renamed after the Queen?

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    1. Yes, even when I see the footage of all the flowers for Princess Di outside Kensington Palace now it makes me want to cry. So sad.

      It's all very Royal here this weekend. The Jubilee weekend, and the river pageant was today. Most exciting. (Despite the rain.) I don't mind about the clock tower being renamed, it's actually the bell that is called Big Ben anyway, not the tower, so from that sense it's not strictly changing, it's just that most of the brits get it wrong and thing the whole thing is called Big Ben. I expect we'll all still refer to it as that anyway!

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