Tuesday, 12 June 2012

CELEBRATIONS - Diamond Jubilee

The flotilla of boats by Tower Bridge.
Photo by
Facunda Arrizabalaga - EPA

We live in a very peaceful little patch of English countryside and seldom venture out of it. It was madness of course, but we are glad that we went to London to see the Queen. It is not often that you have the opportunity to witness a Diamond Jubilee.

It was quite a pilgrimage. We drove halfway, to a station, to catch the train to Paddington and then a tube to Sloane Square. It was like stepping into the Tardis - so many memories came flooding back.  We headed for the Embankment just by Chelsea Bridge. 

Once upon a time, before I resided in this green and pleasant land I only visited and when I did,  I stayed just off the King's Road. Years later we were married at Chelsea Registry Office. Being there made me feel nostalgic for those days. It was a magical time and place in the 60s and 70s  It's still magical, and despite the weather (more on that later) it was wonderful to have a walk around my old haunts. Although I no longer want to live with the pace of life in London, there are some enchanting places there that will always be special to me. I fairly skipped up the King's Road towards the river.

The shops in the King's Road were well decorated. 

Cath Kidston's window
Ted Baker's window

I loved this window!

It is typical that the weather before the Diamond Jubilee week was warm and wonderful and on the day it rained ..... and rained. But Britain is green for a reason and all those lovely little patchwork squares of land would not be so pretty if they were brown. So, we just took our umbrellas, like everyone else.

Patriotic rain macs

The perfect pub to come across on the way.

These ladies were fabulously attired, wonderful to see people make an effort.
It was very crowded, the news estimated that a million people went. So much to see, both on the streets and the river. It was impossible to capture it all, I took many photos, but most of it is just tucked away in the memory now.

Everyone cheered and shouted as the Queen passed in the royal barge. It was a fantastic atmosphere that gave me, a history fanatic, a small glimpse into what it might have been like in the days of Charles II, or Henry VIII when the river played such a huge part in both daily life and good and bad occasions.

The royal barge by the Houses of Parliament
photo by Matt Candy, Getty

The weather forced cancellation of the flypast finale along The Thames and once the Queen had passed us the rain came down in buckets. We dashed back to the King's Road to a few favourite haunts for cover, shopping and coffee,  and then we had a long journey home.

This young boy watching the pagentry with wonder is the image I will most remember.


  1. Lovely pictures with a lot of blue, white and red.


  2. Oh you got really fabulous pics!!! Awwww love your memories of Kings Road!! Wonderful! I work Sundays so my colleagues and I watched the live coverage on our PCs - well the boss didn't mind as it was a most special day! But I did get caught up with all the crowds at the stations! It was all very good-natured and returning home it felt as if they all had a great time!!

    Take care

  3. I really enjoyed this, thank you so much...but especially your lovely personal reflections. N.xo

  4. A wonderful and patriotically (or rather matriarchically) coloured day :) Sorry you had such bad weather :(
    I rather tend to avoid days like these. Too many people around.

  5. What a lovely day to remember!

  6. This was wonderful to see. It looks like you had a great time.
    I love the vivid blue and red of the flag, and the clothing worn in honour of this celebration. It was a happy celebration for a good woman, the Queen has earned her place in people's hearts.


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