I love the Royal Family. So I really enjoyed the Diamond Jubilee celebrations. However, somehow, I managed to not really do anything for it, despite organising a street party being the kind of thing that's right up my street. As it were!
My boyfriend, Andy, on the other hand, is not that fussed about anything like the jubilee or the royal wedding last year, or generally anything royal (other than the Duchess of Cambridge). So imagine how unfair I felt it was when he rang me one day to tell me he'd been invited to the jubilee lunch! He is currently doing an MSc Surface and Polymer Science and Technology, and is lucky enough to have secured a bursary from the Dyers Association. So, as the theme of the lunch was "youth" (and despite him being 30 years "young") he was invited as he is one of the students they sponsor. (The other invitees were also from University and 6th form classes).
So last Monday, we drove down to Reading to stay with some of my family so the train to London was at a reasonable hour. By reasonable, I mean 7am on a bank holiday tuesday. Joy! (More of that in a moment).
On Monday we spent the evening watching the Jubilee concert on TV, which was the point at which I suddenly decided that I needed to do something for the jubilee. As luck would have it, it turned out there was a beacon on a church about 10 minutes walk from where we were staying, so we had a quick walk down there at about 10.20pm.
Unfortunately I missed the moment of the lighting, but there were lots of people down there celebrating and they were projecting the concert onto the wall of the church tower, so we joined in singing along to Paul McCartney and watching the fireworks in London. (If you look closely on the picture above you can see Sir Paul on the screen!).
The early start was 6am - so Andy could get beautified and dressed, and then I drove him to the station to get a train to meet the others at Dyers' Hall. There was a very nice moment for Andy on the train when some toffee nosed posh bloke informed him snootily that he was off to St Paul's for the service with the royal family - not something folk like Andy get to do apparently. Imagine the poor man's face as Andy politely told him that actually, he was off to lunch at Westminster Hall later! Priceless I would imagine.
This picture was sent to me in a text shortly after they arrived at Westminster Hall:
At the end when they left, they were told they were free to take table decorations if they wished, so the other half grabbed the nearest one for his Gran. They just happened to be the ones from Her Majesty the Queen's table, which might explain just how chuffed Granny looks in this picture we took when we delivered them to her!
I am well known for my love of souvenirs, but I managed to resist most things I saw (although I'm regretting this in a couple of cases!). In the end I went for a lovely mug from Cath Kidston, as I thought it went perfectly with the Coronation mug I have inherited early from my Gran. I think they look fab together:
Here's to many more years your Majesty!