Jubilee Moments

As Jubilee Week comes to a close, I have some thoughts on my favorite parts of the various events celebrating the reign of Queen Elizabeth II:

  • The Gloriana–I thought this “rowbarge” (the word barge seems to have a slightly different meaning in England) was absolutely beautiful, especially when you saw all of the rowers in their synchronized movements.
  • The Belfry Boat–I’d never heard of such a thing before, and maybe never will again, but it was amazing to see and hear this eight-bell boat as it made its way down the Thames.
  • Elderly Soldiers–There was something very moving about seeing the Queen greeting elderly soldiers, some of whom were unable to stand, and even more moving to see their emotional responses to meeting her.
  • Salutes–There were so many salutes over the course of the long weekend, and I just didn’t get tired of the ceremony involved when military members saw the Queen and/or her family.
  • Tower Bridge–I’ve never seen the Tower Bridge get the “full lift” before, as they call it. Apparently the Queen always does receive this honor, regardless of the size of the boat she’s on. It’s amazing to watch it go up, and to see how quickly it’s done!
  • Beacon Lighting–I really liked the symbolism of all of those beacons being lit around the world…it made me wish we had a beacon to light, too!
  • Playing of “Jupiter”–This is one of my favorite pieces of music, from The Planets by Holst. I thought it was very cool when it was played during the fireworks display following the beacon lighting…very inspirational!
  • Charles Saying “Mummy”--A touching personal moment in public, from a family that works so hard to keep its private moments private.
  • The BBC Special–Along those same lines, I loved watching the tribute by Prince Charles that BBC aired. Getting a glimpse into who the royal family really is was fascinating, and it was a touching tribute to Elizabeth, both as Queen and as mother.
  • God Save the Queen–We really don’t have anything like this in America, but hearing the whole crowd chanting this so enthusiastically was thrilling, even for someone who doesn’t really have an allegiance to the Queen.
  • The Te Deum–I’m a sucker for a Te Deum, especially a special occasion Te Deum. I loved hearing this sung as the Queen walked into the church.
  • The Flypast–I love a flight demonstration team, and I’ve been interested in the Red Arrows for several years. The best part was the red, white, and blue trailing behind them…it was almost American!
  • The “Hip-Hip-Hooray”–I guess I didn’t realize that people actually said this, but like the chants of “God Save the Queen,” it was pretty amazing to hear such a throng shouting this in unison.
  • The National Anthem–I never tired of hearing “God Save the Queen” sung over the four days of celebrations, even though it was sung constantly. I don’t think I’ll ever sing “God Bless Our Native Land” quite the same way again!
  • The Fashion–I’m not going to lie…I loved seeing all of the clothing, hats, (oh that I could wear hats!), and jewelry showcased in these events. The Queen always looks beautiful and ladylike, and the other dresses and uniforms were fun to watch and admire!

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