Its nearly here. Come rain or shine, we shall celebrate the Queens Diamond Jubilee.
During my travels across the county, I have seen some extraordinary sights where residents have pulled together in order to show their support for our Queen. Village and hamlet alike has seen a blooming of red white and blue along with one or two other colours, most likely that of national flags from overseas where people have settled here in England. A few old colonial flags from The West Indies and Hong Kong have been noted along with modern day Canada, New Zealand, Australia and that far off place in the north called… Scotland. Indeed, one lady from Ireland really wanted her country’s flag to be flown.
Many community activities such as street parties and fetes etc seem are being advertised for a Monday 4th timing. Some of these venues such as village halls, recreation grounds and of course streets are coming alive with a blaze of colour that must be seen to be believed. I have to be honest and own up to being somewhat choked at the heartfelt effort being displayed by young and old alike to make this Diamond Jubilee weekend to remember.
Businesses too are putting in the effort to be a part of this historic event. “Street parties” for employees on Friday at lunchtime. Offices, workshops, stores and shops bedecked in flags and bunting are all adding to the atmosphere. The Jubilee is now generating a patriotic fervour that would shame the output of wind turbines.
Lets not also forget the schools that are actively participating through at long last, teaching children something of our heritage that the royal family is an intricate part of. It must be tough for those dyed in the wool republicans to see children with their faces painted with the union flag, or even to see union jack clothing being worn to school ‘street parties’.
There has as always, been the usual tale of health and safety where a west country council required a risk assessment to make sure that the lamp posts that residents wanted to string bunting up on, were strong enough. Our own Eastleigh Borough Council has declined to get involved with the Jubilee celebrations, much to the annoyance of many residents. But I have heard a tree has been planted!
So what are you doing over Jubilee Weekend? Please let us know. In the part of Chandlers Ford where I live, the local neighbours will be getting together on Monday for afternoon tea (or something a little stronger!). Later on in the early evening, BBQ’s will be fired up. While having a good time, we will be raising money for charity through a tabletop book sale, a DVD sale, a plant sale and Tombola. The last time we got together for a similar event, actually, Armed Forces Day that is also later in June, we finished at 2 a.m. in the morning.
Sixty years to reign over our country is a magnificent achievement in this modern age where we have seen the Arab spring, the fall of the USSR and subsequent soviet satellites, the rise of the E.U., far off wars where our people have served and fallen, world wide terrorism, recession and austerity, the banking crisis and maybe the collapse of the Euro. For all these events, the Queen and the royal family offer a stability that other nations can only wish for, imitate or desire.
Queen Elizabeth 2, monarch, mother and grandmother continues to do her duty for her country and people, through joyous and sad times that her family too has also experienced. She is a fine example for us all. When and wherever you find yourself taking part in celebrations, or if you are on your own over this weekend, please remember the royal toast – The Queen.
God save the Queen.