Jubilation! We are about to finish one of the very few long weekends in UK. It has felt great to be able to have a bit more of time to do some things that we do not normally have the time to do. Apart from the usual drinks with friends and few other things, I did some more hiking, which I will tell you about very shortly.
Just for the record, Ma´am is the way the Queen likes being addressed at.
We do not get many statutory holidays in UK. There is a reason for this extra long weekend, the Queen´s Diamond Jubilee. That is, she has been the Queen of Great Britain for 60 years. Now, that would be a reason for everyone to celebrate! This is something that most people here seem to agree on.
Yes, because not everyone agrees with monarchy being UK´s political system or likes the Royals. However, the fact that Kate plays her role really well or Prince Harry´s good press (less controversial news on him) lately must have helped a great deal for the celebrations to be as successful they seem to be so far.
There has been some controversy despite all of the efforts, plus some worries over the Queen´s husband´s health. Aso, rebel feeling of the rock music played at Buckingham Palace and royalty seem to disagree…
Just as it happened last year during the big wedding celebrations, there have been a few street parties and other events all over London and UK. We went to watch part of the the huge river pageant on Sunday, where members of the Royal Family (including Kate´s family) were cruised along the Thames from Battersea to Tower Bridge.
Huge crowds were gathering along the river and on the bridges. There were many screens dotted all over the place. But, we wanted to see everything live. It took us a bit of time and effort to get to the Westminster Bridge, next to the Houses of Parliament.
What I would highlight is the great atmosphere along the Thames and everywhere in London. Maybe, because of the extra party day, but everyone was in great spirits despite the rain, many of them dressing up with pieces of clothing with the British flag or wore crowns.
Over 1,000 boats, including many man-powered little boats sailed alongside The Spirit of Chartwell, where the Queen was. Did you see the Maoris? I bet it was not so much fun for them, as it was freezing cold for June and rained most of the time. Watch minute 2:12 of the video at the bottom of this entry.
It was peculiar to use those periscopes, but what a great invention! We were in the third or fourth row on the side of the bridge. Without them, it would have been impossible to watch the pageant!
After they finally passed through, about an hour later than scheduled, we decided to visit another great British institution. We needed to get dry and a seat so badly that it was a relief to finally get to the pub – plus we got a seat upstairs and opposite the big screen! Yeah, it was Pimm´s time.
We also got some memorabilia on the way. Oyster card holders seem to be the latest freebie to give out. It used to be pen drives or ballpens. Useful indeed!
Did you attend any street parties or any other celebrations? Hope you enjoy the vid below.