04 June 2012

Let's get this party started!

Yesterday, I was so very proud to be so very nearly-British! Although, I'll have to wait another several months before I can put forward my application to become a Naturalised British citizen, my chest swelled with pride watching the City of London, the nation, and my own tiny corner of England turning out to celebrate and honour its beloved Queen, and her 60 years of service to us all.

An early burst of summer throughout the month May, meant of course that the 'British inevitable' would happen: It rained. All day. As I sprinted across the road to open St. Peter's Church and prepare the altar for the 8AM service, heavy, grey clouds loomed overheard. The church, however, looked resplendent!

The DEB and I sent a precarious afternoon 'dressing' the church with flags and bunting, including the Church tower. A few pics below - can you spot the DEB?


The Sunday 8AM Eurcharist was lovely, as usual, but, of course, and an early start. After the service, we journeyed off to that great cathedral of commerce, Sainsbury's and did our Jubilee shop. Unfortunately, it seems everyone else had the same idea! As we arrived at Sainsbury's, it started to rain. "Poor Queenie," said the DEB as we dashed through the doors of the shop.

We made it back in time to catch the preliminary reports and build-up to the Thames Pagaent. We wouldn't have a chance to watch it in "real time" as we had a little 'pageant' of our own to attend. But I did get a glimpse of The Queen's arrival, and The Duchess of Cambridge's gorgeous red ensemble, and that hat!

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge in Alexander McQueen ensemble

She's just so lovely! And, what a striking pair she and William are!

Harry, Kate and William

To be sure, the entire royal party looked amazing! I've always carried a torch for Prince Charles, and yesterday, he certainly did not disappoint! And, Camilla looked lovely on his arm.

HRH Prince Charles in full regalia
But, of course, the day belonged to Her Majesty, The Queen, who was a vision herself in diamond white:

Her Majesty, The Queen, arrives for Thames River Pagaent

No one puts on 'pomp and circumstance' like the British, and London did not fail to be magnificent in the background. The organisers of the Thames Pageant did an incredible job, and it truly was the 'show of the century'!

The DEB graciously bought and set up a new digital recorder so that we wouldn't miss a moment of the  pageant proceedings. The Pageant started around 2:00 PM, and at 3:00 PM, all the church bells across the land were set to ring out. Our lovely bells here in Barford joined in the refrain. We dashed to the church just in time to catch their start, just before our "Diamond Jubilee Service of Celebration".

With all this talk of fashion, I must add that I, too, did my part in a lovely lime green vintage-inspired dress, with matching jacket (Thank you, Debenham's for making gorgeous petites!) -

Finished off with a sassy pair of Uptown Heels from Boden -

Topped off with my favourite navy and white floppy hat by Suzanne Bettley!

The service was inspired by the Order of Service created for the Queen's Coronation. The choir performed that infamous (and incredibly difficult) motif from 'Zadek the Priest' ("God Save the King!"), and did an amazing job! There was a selection of readings, notably a passage from Joshua which includes these powerful words:

As I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.
Be strong and of a good courage: for unto this people shalt thou divide for an inheritance the land, which I sware unto their fathers to give them.
Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper withersoever thou goest.
This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.
Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.

After the service, we were supposed to have Strawberries and Cream in the churchyard. Needless to say that became an indoor event!  Following the service, we came home and crashed in front of the telly and watched the Pageant.

And, what an stunning Pageant it was! From the Jubillee bells, and the incredible rowing boat Gloriana -- linking the two golden Elizabethan ages -- to the fireworks off London Bridge, the river show was spectacular!

Today, already looking a bit drier (!), the festivities continue! Must sign off now, as we have a gaggle of people coming round to our house for a champagne toast before we walk down to the Village Green for the ceremonial raising of the new village flag and flagpole. Then off to the planting of a new Jubilee Oak Tree down by the river. Picnic on the Green (hopefully) around 1:00PM. Another long day of joy and celebration!

God Save the Queen!

1 comment:

Introverted Art said...

So beautiful. I love England. I went to Oxford for one of those study abroad programs in collage and I've been in love with the country ever since. I went out every single night and had so much fun.