A Jubilee to remember
The Royal List reports from the Platinum Jubilee
What a wonderful Jubilee - from the astonishing Trooping the Colour, to the poptastic Party at the Palace and Paddington Bear having tea with the Queen, The Royal List has been in the middle of the action all weekend. Here’s our report…
Apparently, the Queen was rather taken aback by the sheer numbers who flocked to London on Thursday to pay tribute to her. The crowds were incredible and we should know, because just like the tens of thousands in the Mall, St James’s Park, Green Park and Trafalgar Square – The Royal List’s Maria was there too.
Day 1: Trooping the Colour
Not put off by the early morning radio reports that the Mall was already ten deep (the hardcore from all corners of the world had camped out overnight – respect!), I was determined to soak up the joyful atmosphere and be a part of history unfolding. On the way to finding a spot in St James’s Park, I even snuck a glimpse of Seamus the Irish Wolfhound, the Irish Guard’s regimental mascot, plus quite a few of the 1,500 marching soldiers, 350 horses and military musicians. I’m also totally convinced the Harry and Meghan blacked-out convoy sped past me down Birdcage Walk.
As the sun shone on this beautiful day, I watched the pomp and pageantry on a huge screen erected for all us flag-waving, picnicking superfans. It was like being at the world’s biggest royal festival ever. We sang ‘God Save The Queen’ at the drop of a (Union Jack) hat, and when the Queen made her first appearance on the balcony (with the Duke of Kent) the cheers were deafening. But not as loud as the roar of the engines of the 71-aircraft RAF flypast as it came swooping in low over our heads. What an amazing sight! Yes, Prince Louis you were right and totally adorable about that.
The Telegraph reported the Queen said, “Look at that!” to Prince Charles, as four generations of the Royal Family took their places beside her on the balcony. “It really is the most wonderful sight,” he replied. It certainly was a wonderful privilege to be there in the crowd. For the first time, since the pandemic robbed us of such magical communal events, we were finally able to pay tribute to Britain’s longest-serving monarch, Queen Elizabeth II. Thank you Ma’am. I’ll never forget this day.
Day 2: Service of Thanksgiving
With the late announcement that the Queen would not be at St Paul’s Cathedral due to mobility issues, all eyes were on Harry and Meghan attending their first royal event together since March 2020. The Duchess, looking chic in Dior, appeared relaxed as alongside the Duke of Sussex she took her second-row place next to Princesses Eugenie and Beatrice and their husbands. Across the aisle, Catherine (in a lemon Emilia Wickstead dress) and Prince William sat next to Princess Anne, Charles and Camilla.
Day 3: Platinum Party at the Palace
For 70 years the Queen has always delivered. And quite frankly, the comic sketch with Paddington Bear at the start of Platinum Party at the Palace was simply EVERTHING!
She was a Bond girl with Daniel Craig’s 007 for the 2012 Olympics and now in 2022 our Platinum Queen turned to another British icon, the nation’s favourite bear (voiced by Ben Whishaw), to help her celebrate. We loved every second of it. Watch it (again and again) here.
A Buckingham Palace spokesman told The Times: “Her Majesty is well known for her sense of humour, so it should be no surprise that she decided to take part in tonight’s sketch. There was an interest in the filming and animation process, and the opportunity to invite a famous bear to tea was just too much fun to miss. While the Queen may not be attending the concert, she was very keen that people understood how much it meant to her and that those watching had a great time.”
The 2½-minute sketch, filmed at Windsor in March, was kept top secret, with only a few family members let in on the surprise shortly before the concert began at 8pm.
The star-studded Platinum Party at the Palace was an utter triumph, with 30 royals bopping away in the royal box, and even Prince George and Princess Charlotte were allowed to stay up late to enjoy the night and sing along to ‘Sweet Caroline’.
As the day turned to night, William and Charles both gave emotional speeches paying tribute to the Queen and the much-missed Prince Philip. The Palace was illuminated like a giant IMAX screen as rockers rocked. But from Sir Elton to Duran Duran, Sam Ryder, Diana Ross and Queen with Adam Lambert, nothing but nothing will top the sight of Her Majesty and Paddington Bear kickstarting the concert by tapping out with their teaspoons Queen’s We Will Rock You on the side of their china tea cups. We hope you enjoyed your marmalade sandwiches while watching the show on TV, Ma’am.
Saturday was also a big day for the Sussexes - Lilibet’s first birthday. While many of the Royal Family wished her a happy birthday on social media, we bet there was a family party hosted for the Queen’s great grand-daughter at Windsor. With her big brother, Archie, over too, this four-day celebration has been especially poignant for Her Majesty. Finally meeting her little namesake and spending time with ‘much loved family members’.
Day 4: The Platinum Jubilee Pageant
As we hit ‘send’ on this week’s newsletter, today witnesses the finale of the Jubilee festivities, the Platinum Jubilee Pageant. Judging from rehearsal pics it promises to be a spectacular parade around St James’s Park, the Mall and Whitehall featuring 200 horses, 10,000 people, Ed Sheeran and Her Majesty’s 260-year-old Gold State Coach. Original footage recorded on her Coronation Day in 1953 will be shown in the coach windows. It’s very much hoped the Queen will make an appearance on the Buckingham Palace balcony as the pageant draws to a close at about 5pm. Watch it on BBC One from 1pm.
The last Jubilee?
As we party on this weekend, it’s even more profound when we remember this could be the last of the jubilees. Kerry wrote this for The Saturday Telegraph:
The co-chair of the Platinum Pageant – the lavish carnival which reportedly cost around £10 million of private funds — Nicholas Coleridge, dubbed the Jubilee “a grand finale” to the Queen, calling it “a joyful after-party for the pandemic, an opportunity to remember what we all have in common, our unity and diversity magnified through the prism of the sovereign.”
And certainly, if you are a betting person, the odds aren’t high that we will see another significant Jubilee for the Queen, or any British sovereign. The statistics are against it, as the 96-year-old Queen is already Britain’s longest-reigning monarch, clocking up 70 years on the throne.
To reach her 75th milestone, in February 2027, the Queen would be 100. Similarly, it’s unlikely Prince Charles, who is 73, would reign long enough to celebrate his own Silver Jubilee, marking 25 years on the throne.
So, like the 70th and 75th anniversaries of D-Day and VE Day, the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee inevitably has the sense of the last party, the end of an era. It’s a celebration of the past while those who lived it are still with us and a reminder why we should not take things for granted while we have them.
One Queen, two letters
Finally, a personal memento of the weekend - Kerry received a letter from the Queen for the Silver Jubilee in 1977 and this year, her daughters also received a letter after sending in some drawings for the Platinum Jubilee.
There are not many - any - statesmen or women still in the same role some 45 years later. Even Susan Hussey, is still the Queen’s Lady-in-Waiting, aged 83. Bravo.
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