Posted in Family, Personal life

Post Royal Jubilee (Red, White and) Blues

my house decorated for the Jubilee weekendTwo weeks on from the Royal Jubilee celebrations, and I can’t quite bring myself to turn off the red, white and blue fairy lights outside my house, nor to take down the bunting. I don’t want to lose that carefree sense of fun that took over the nation’s lives, for all but the most hardened Republicans.

Cards on the table: I’m not especially a Royalist, but I do have a profound admiration for those Royals who work hard and tirelessly to do their duty for the country. I certainly wouldn’t want to swap places with the Queen. During the Jubilee period, it’s been a treat to see our national flag restored to its proper use of celebrating our national unity, rather than indicating right-wing tendencies or National Front affiliations. I hung  the biggest flag I could find from my bedroom window. (“Are you doing that just to irritate Daddy?” asked my nine-year-old daughter, too perceptive for her own good of my husband’s revolutionary tendencies.)

Admittedly, the weekend of celebrations was not quite what I expected it to be. First of all, the very British but very uncooperative weather meant I didn’t get the chance to wear the long, light cotton sundress that I’d bought for the occasion in the colours of the flag. Secondly, our village decided to have a party in the recreation ground, rather than the street. To my mind, you can’t beat a street party. But we did have a jolly good time.

my daughter and her friend at the village party
Laura and friend, snapped on the rec by my friend. They look like they’ve just travelled back in time

My best memories will be:

– laughing at the egg-catching competition on the rec (we were having so much fun that we didn’t realise the showers had turned into torrents until it was finished)

– snuggling under a blanket in front of a log fire with my daughter Laura, slightly steaming as we dried off after  said village party, as we watched the Royal Flotilla (also in pouring rain)

– a frisson of pleasure watching the Queen and her inner circle start jigging up and down to the sounds of the Sailors’ Hornpipe played by the floating Royal Philharmonic Orchestra

Laura at the beacon bonfire
Ablaze with patriotism, Laura at the Beacon bonfire, adorned by IKEA battery-powered fairy lights

– being astonished by the colour and imagination of the Jubilee-themed Flower Festival at the local church

– trekking up to our village’s Beacon Bonfire and spotting the next one at Uley, 10 miles or so away

After all, the whole point of a Beacon Bonfire is to be seen from afar, and send a kind of Mexican wave of bonfires across the length and breadth of the nation. And for a moment there, the nation felt just like a close-knit village. It was a fabulous feeling, and I really hope we don’t have to wait another 60 years to feel that way again. God Save The Queen!

If you like the British Royal Family, you might like these posts:

Saying It With Trees

Remembering the Silver Jubilee

A taste of the Jubilee Flower Festival at St Mary’s Church, Hawkesbury Upton

flower arrangements on the alter
Looking up to the altar

floral arrangement of Queen approaching altar

floral representation of the annointing of the Queen
Annointing the new Queen
flower arrangement depicting the Lords declaring loyalty to the Queen
The Lords declare their loyalty to the Queen

floral arrangement representing Prince Philip
Prince Philip – in flowers
flower arrangement depicting coronation carriage
The Queen’s coronation carriage
floral arrangement representing the Yeomen of the Guard
My favourite: the Yeomen of the Guard (Beefeaters)

Footnote: I’ve just heard that my friend Mary Beresford, who masterminded this Flower Festival,  has been awarded the British Empire Medal in the Queen’s Birthday Honours, for service to her community.  I’m so pleased for her!