Today’s topic is fun, perhaps frivolous by some standards, a look at some of the goings-on surrounding the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. Celebrations commemorating Her Majesty’s 60 years on the throne get underway this weekend, some will be massive. The Sydney Morning Herald:
…the Queen’s diamond jubilee is drawing an estimated 1 million people to London for a four-day festival starting on Saturday that, in terms of sheer pageantry, will dwarf last year’s nuptials of her grandson, Prince William, and his bride, Catherine.
Buckingham Palace has grown increasingly savvy about its image, a splendid demonstration of the Monarchy’s media acuity can be seen in the official logo for the Jubilee, as shown on the Official Diamond Jubilee Site:
The splashy artwork, casual font, and touch of whimsy are worlds removed from that staid, stiff upper lip royal image many of us grew up with. That same sense of optimistic fun is obvious in the artwork for what could be the biggest event this weekend, the Thames River Pageant:
Saturday’s flotilla on the Thames promises to be extraordinary, more on the enormous floating celebration via the Daily Mirror:
Organisers hope to recreate scenes not seen on the river for more than 300 years – since the reign of Charles II, when all boats were made of wood.
Thousands of musicians and singers will be aboard 10 accompanying barges.
Vessels large and small, including a procession of boats used in the 1940 Dunkirk evacuation, will sail within yards of each other under 14 bridges.
The event will finish at about 5.30pm when the last music barge stages a Last Night of the Proms-style tribute – playing Land of Hope and Glory, Rule Britannia and, finally, the national anthem.
Aboard the Royal Barge will be the Queen, and Duke of Edinburgh, the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall, William and Kate (and the Middleton family, oh my!), Prince Harry and others. (Psst, if interested in watching the flotilla live, BBC America’s coverage begins at 8:30am.) Below we see an artist’s depiction of how the royal barge will look on the river this Saturday.
Tonight ABC airs a special with Katie Couric, “The Jubilee Queen,” the two-hour program features interviews with both Prince William and Prince Harry, it begins at 9pm.
Monday is the BBC Jubilee Concert, a huge event being held in front of Buckingham Palace. ABC also has broadcast rights to that. Below, how the stage will look.
Performers include Elton John, Tom Jones, Paul McCartney, Stevie Wonder, Kylie Minogue, Jools Holland, Jessie J, JLS, Annie Lennox, Madness, Cliff Richard, Ed Sheeran and West End star Alfie Boe. ABC’s recap airs Tuesday evening.
The actual Jubilee is Tuesday, with a National Service of Thanksgiving at St. Paul’s Cathedral, a Diamond Jubilee lunch in Westminster Hall with 700 guests and other events. To see the entire program for the St. Paul’s church service, click here for ITV’s screen grabs with details. CNN plans live coverage of the day’s events, and BBC America begins its coverage at 3:30am.
There are amazing exhibits and events planned all over the UK, including an exhibition of what some refer to ‘royal bling.’ Here we see the Imperial Crown of India made for King George V in 1911. (6000+ diamonds and other precious stones. Worn once.)
They are some of the most spectacular diamonds, rubies and sapphires in the world, and they have graced the outfits of monarchs for centuries, now — just in time for Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee — Britain’s Crown Jewels have gone on display in a new-look exhibition.
While this next item might look like an upscale version of a patriotic symbol, there’s a little more to the story, back to CNN:
“British monarchs are symbolically “married” to the country during their coronation. This coronation ring was made for Queen Victoria, as the traditional one was too large. However, this version was too small, and became stuck on her finger.”
A change of venue for this spectacular show, it is at Buckingham Palace, not the Tower of London. To look at some of the fab photos with the CNN story, click here. The folks at Born Rich also have a nifty story, they have paired up some of the static photos of jewels with images when HM actually wore them.
It’s rather intriguing to see the padding inside the tiara, I had not previously noticed that.
There is no shortage of whimsical approaches to the big event, below we see model maker Giorgio Pastero at Legoland Windsor replacing the usual model of Queen Elizabeth with a new one that actually has real diamonds on the crown. HM joins the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (William & Kate), the Duke of Edinburgh (Prince Philip), and the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall (Charles and Camilla) on the balcony of Buckingham Palace.
The Telegraph has a collection of Unusual Portraits of the Queen created in honor of the occasion, including this one, made entirely of toast. (Perhaps an entry for our “You Can’t Make This Stuff Up” category?)
Keeping with the food theme, this was made entirely of cupcakes.
This one made by the British Cheese Board, you can surmise its primary ingredient.
We leave you with one more ‘portrait,’ this one is primarily of Buckingham Palace. Made of duck rolls.
Here’s the star of the show among the duck rolls, HM.
That is some amazing stuff.
Until next time, may your tiara be sparkling!