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diamond jubilee
atrocious weather
jubilee celebrations
water jets
buckingham palace
river thames
cold rain
The Diamond Jubilee - What A Weekend!
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The Diamond Jubilee   -   What A Weekend!

Well, that was some weekend!

It was wet, windy and cold. Who would have expected such atrocious weather at the beginning of June? Temperatures were down so low just going outside, even briefly, required that a warm coat should be worn. But then we do, sometimes, get such weather in the UK.

The Diamond Jubilee

Regardless of that it was also an amazing weekend too because it was the weekend of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Celebrations! And what Celebrations they were! We had live TV coverage of all the events including the River Pageant, the Service at St Paul's Cathedral, the Concert at Buckingham Palace, the fly-past, the fireworks on top of Buckingham Palace and speeches members of the Royal Family. Prince Charles, in particular made a very impressive speech at the Concert praising The Queen, “Mummy” and raised a huge cheer for his Father, Prince Philip, who was sadly unwell and in hospital unable to attend the final events.

The River Pageant

This was an an amazing event. Over a thousand boats of all sizes and descriptions sailing along the River Thames behind The Royal Barge. There were rowing boats, yachts, small sail boats, paddle boats, some very tall sailing boats which were too tall to pass under the bridges. All tooting their horns and some spraying water jets, all bedecked with Union Flags (or are they Union Jacks as they were on boats?), bunting and brightly decorated. Their crews waving to the hundreds of thousands standing along both sides of the river.

All aboard!

And there at the head of the water-borne procession was Her Majesty The Queen, Prince Philip, her husband and their family. The Queen was standing on deck, in a biting wind, with just a canopy to shelter her from the cold rain, and waving in her own, almost minimalist, fashion to the gathered masses who in turn waved back - in a somewhat less retrained manner at Their Queen. Flags and banners were waved in the air, with cheers from adults and children alike. Quite how The Queen remained standing on board her ship for so many hours without sitting down or even appearing tired was awe inspiring! Quite an achievement for an 86 year old lady and an indication of her dedication and sense of duty to her loyal subjects.

Appearance on the balcony

Soon after the Royal Family had returned to Buckingham Palace they appeared on the balcony for their traditional appearance before the gathered masses. The Queen waved to the hundreds of thousands of people and they, in turn, went wild with cheering and the waving of flags and banners. Quite a sight - and sound!

The Fly-Past

There was then a fly-past by the aeroplanes of the BBMF (Battle of Britain Memorial Flight) and other aeroplanes.

The BBMF which maintains the fleet of WW2 Spitfires and the iconic Lancaster are a sight to behold. The Lancaster has particular fond memories for me as I have actually been inside it! Only on the ground, unfortunately, but I feel really honoured all the same. This flight was followed by other aeroplanes which all flew straight over The Palace to the appreciation of the Royal Family and the crowds below. They were all followed by the famous Red Arrows aerobatic display team which smoked Red, White and Blue. A wonderful sight!

The Concert

What an amazing event this was, with top artists including Paul McCartney, Tom Jones, Elton John and Stevie Wonder and many more top acts. And those lights effects on the Palace were stunning. Buckingham Palace instantly turned into a giant Union Flag and then a Tenement Block with rooms appearing to open and animated characters dancing around inside with Madness singing from the rooftops! Whoever designed and operated the lighting system did an extremely impressive job.

Fireworks

Just when it looked like it was all over and the performers and the Royal Family had made their speeches up went the fireworks! It was a brilliant display which was synchronised to the music being played at that moment. A fine finale to the weekends events.

Souvenirs

With the UK in recession at the moment this is just the boost the UK needed. The sales of all the Diamond Jubilee gifts, souvenirs and memorabilia and the huge numbers of tourists in the town, will not only lift everyone's spirits but will also be a welcome boost to the economy. There are Diamond Jubilee commemorative Plates, Mugs, Tea-Spoons, Tea-Towels etc. Some a items a bit tacky, now doubt, but some truly collectible and potential heirlooms.

Glad I watched it!

This Diamond Jubilee is only the second in Britain's long history and only beaten by Her Majesty's great-great-grandmother, Queen Victoria and celebrates sixty years on the throne. I'm glad I have been around to witness this one.

All in all, despite the awful weather, that really was some weekend!


Street Talk

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