A jolly good time was had by all except half my Facebook friends. And all of my family – anti-monarchists, the lot of them; atheists as well. I sometimes wonder if I really exist in this house or if I’m a figment of my imagination.
I finally got to watch a Queen’s Speech last night, because I wasn’t eating my Christmas Dinner. It was brief and to the point: Thanks guys; you’re great.
The service at St Paul’s was nice. I’ve been there once; it’s a beautiful building. As the camera panned back to show the whole thing, I was horrified at how huge it is: I can’t believe I ever let my boys go to the top of it, on the outside, without me. Yes, they survived, but now I’m going to have a sleepless night or three imagining that they didn’t (I’m a retrospective worrier).
The only member of the Royal Family I’ve seen in real life is Prince Philip, when I was nine. It was at my Big Brother’s passing out parade at Aldershot barracks, when he joined the army. Unfortunately, I only have the knowledge of the memory, not the actual memory, if you know what I mean: I know I was there; I know Prince Philip was there…but that’s it – in my mind, only a blur of soldiers and the back of a tall man who might or might not have been royal, is all I have. But I do remember eating lunch in the NAAFI.
It was the same for the Silver Jubilee in 1977. I was thirteen. I know we had a street party because Mum and I played bingo in Jeanette Achilles’ Mum’s kitchen with the other neighbourhood women for twelve months, helping to raise funds; but I have no recollection at all of the day. I have told this story before but it’s vaguely topical and I’ve had lots of new readers since I last told it and besides, I’ve never really gotten over it:
I attended each weekly bingo session with my Mum, who paid all my fees. I won a bread board and wanted to give it to the first of my Big Brother’s many wives; my Mum was a little miffed. Clearly, she could see into the future and knew that bread board was going to have a temporary home at best. My Dad insisted I gave it to my Mum. It still hurts.
My Jubilee posts gave rise to some interesting comments. Here are two of my favourites:
I danced for her when I was a little girl. She was genuinely delighted and impressed to watch our little step dancing group perform. kept asking for another dance. While poor Prince Phillip was being “entertained” by my stepfather taking about their huge ship anchored out on Lake Ontario. (must be a Navy man thing. LOL) They were both such a delight
I was at that very same RSF concert in JHB
Talk about a small world!
I can’t let this post pass without a recommendation that you visit Kate Shrewsday and her Jubilee party post; you must listen to the audio of her delightful little nephew, Big Al, who solemnly apologised to the Queen:
I’m sorry I blew a raspberry at you.
Finally, yet another showing for my favourite-ever Queen story. I know many of you could recite it by heart, but new readers will enjoy it, I’m sure; it is supposed to be true:
The Queen was entertaining a visiting head of state; they were parading down the Mall in a horse-drawn carriage, chatting nicely, when one of the horses made what can only be described as a rude noise.
QEII: I’m so sorry about that.
HoS: Please don’t apologise; if you hadn’t said anything, I’d have assumed it was the horse.