There are lots of things that we do well in this country.
Standing around in the rain for instance. We are good at that. Well, we have had a lot of practice.
Getting up early to get the best spot. Either first in the queue outside Wimbledon four days before the Men’s Final or outside the Apple Store before launch day.
Pomp and ceremony. Opening of Parliament / Last night of the Proms / State funerals. We are world leaders in all those events.
Royalty. Anything royal and we know how to throw a party and be given an extra day off (debatable as to whether that is such a great idea in this economy but that is a whole different blog post).
So when an opportunity comes along for you combine all of those things it is something you can’t really ignore.
And so it came to pass that we found ourselves on the banks of the Thames yesterday. We arrived at my folks apartment (which happens to be on the Thames) and my dad said “your mum is down there, she has secured a great spot. Got a bench and some chairs and we are taking it in turns to keep it secure”.
Little did I realise the bench was actually ours and that dad had carried it down at 8am.
So we pitched up with more chairs at 10.30am and stayed there until gone 4pm.
Yes it was cold. Yes it was wet. But we had cheesy Doritos and Champagne.
And a bench!
And pretty much the best view of the start of the Queen’s flotilla of 1000 boats on the Thames to mark her Diamond Jubilee.
In front of us was a gang plank down which most of the “minor royals” walked and embarked onto their boats. Along with various politicans, current and former. And the odd London mayor. I don’t mean that as in odd funny I mean it as in …. no actually, maybe I do.
What an amazing day. It was fabulous. Just fabulous. Here are a few of my pics of the day. If you want to see them all then they are here: Picassa Some are not great quality as they are from my phone, but the rest were taken by Mr B with our posh camera.
Say what you like about the Royal Family and whether we should have one. I believe we should but I know many don’t. Yesterday was a celebration of a woman who has done a job that she didn’t chose to do but that was her destiny. And who has done that job tirelessly for sixty years.
Ma’am I salute you.
It was great hearing a Mexican wave of who was arriving next. From the left we would hear a cheer and then:
Pippa is here
That’s her sister and brother
Her. Her in the blue dress. That is Pippa
And then an explanation to people who might not know who these people were. The crowd all talking to each other, passing on whatever snippet of royal gossip or knowledge they had.
Was I the only one that I expected him to lose his footing and fall in?
And finally, this pic is just for you Hopalong:
It was the most extraordinary day. And one I shall never forget. I was in the Mall aged 7 for the Silver Jubilee in 1977 and have not forgotten that day. Nor will I this.
There were dignitaries from a whole host of nations on boats, royalty, politicicans and most importantly people. All sorts of people. From all walks of life. And all sorts of boats. From the royal barge to dragon boats to those famous Dunkirk boats. They were all there.
And so were we.