Earlier this week the Olympic torch reached Taunton on its journey around Great Britain, towards the Olympic stadium in London some 67 days to the opening! I am reminded that we have something else to celebrate in less than 10 days: The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.
Bunting bedecks the streets, Union Flags are flying at full mast and a sense of pride resonates. Garden parties, fetes, concerts and all manner of events have been organised to celebrate this uncomplaining servant by Her subjects.
At The Queen’s own garden parties 27,000 cups of tea are consumed along with 20,000 cakes and sandwiches. That’s approximately 14 items for each of the invited guests! Of course an essential ingredient for the Bank Holiday is the weather; whatever it throws at us our true British spirit will make sure we make the best of it.
20 million people watched Princess Elizabeth become Queen on 2nd June 1953. Her coronation was 16 months in the planning. Rowan Williams, the current Archbishop of Canterbury said of The Queen, “She has a profound sense of vocation, not simply stepping into a role exercising function but actually becoming a certain kind of person, which is what vocation is about”. Those lucky enough to be at the coronation were astonished by Her serenity, confidence and sense of centre.
From the very beginning The Queen wanted to be continue Her father’s and grandfather’s connection to their subjects. In 1957 at Sandringham She made a live TV broadcast: She has since done 54 Christmas addresses. She is known in the trade as ‘One take Windsor.’
Queen Elizabeth II comes across as a true professional, relaxed and sincere about what matters to Her: faith, family, the Commonwealth and of course the military. Her grandson, Prince Harry says, “Her support for the British forces is second to none. It is a huge honour for me, and the guys that I serve with; to work for such a fantastic woman. It really is that simple for us.”
There are 54 members in the Commonwealth; although now only 16 members have Her Majesty as their Head of State. The Queen as Head of the Commonwealth is indeed the glue that binds them. She is a true networker as ¼ of the world’s population and a ¼ of the world’s countries are in the Commonwealth.
Prince William explains; “it is her leadership and guidance that has seen the Commonwealth through. She has a magnificent work ethic, vast knowledge on all the countries she visits and total belief in Her job.”
The Queen’s family like many of our own has had its share of joy, tragedies, births, marriages, and they have always supported each other. Elizabeth’s legacy is now in the hands of Her children, grandchildren and her great grandchildren Savannah & Isla.
I think Zara Tindall sums her grandmother up when she said, “Family is a massive part of Her life, She is a very caring person; who you can always go to. I have massive respect for Her and love Her to bits!”
I think we all do, Zara.
Happy Diamond Jubilee, Your Majesty!