I accepted a job and moved to London a week before the Diamond Jubilee celebrations. It was a fantastic time to be in the city with the Olympics following a couple of months later. The atmosphere was absolutely electric all summer. Any excuse for a few days off to hang out the bunting and dance in the streets whilst simultaneously sipping tea and scoffing scones is fabulous. How very British. Stereotypically so, but these are the moments when we really do not mind being stereotyped. Because we really do love a cup of tea and a scone. Preferably, with strawberry jam and clotted cream.
On the day of the flotilla, the weather took a turn for the worse so I decided to watch it at home on the big screen whilst preparing a fabulous roast beef Sunday lunch. It's amazing how people come together for these kinds of events. Just watching it on the television was emotional enough. People had flocked to the river to watch the ships go by as the Royal Family waved and soldiered on, despite the rain. I wished that I had gone down to watch it.
With that in mind, the next day I met my friend and his mother for a picnic in St James's Park. Ever predictable, roast beef sandwiches and scones were on the menu and washed down with a little champagne in union jack paper cups as the build up to the Jubilee concert organised by Gary Barlow was broadcast on the big screens. Party mode was in full flow with flags flying and people merry as the concert started. We all enjoyed dancing along to various stars from the Commonwealth and beyond. I often wonder if they keep Cliff Richard in the basement of Buckingham Palace only to come out on such occasions. The fireworks were particularly impressive, especially as we realised how close we were to the Palace as the fireworks show was right in front of us through the trees.
We also took part in another great British pastime; rolling our eyes at the Americans. I mean, seriously... almost every single one thought it was her birthday. Grace Jones seemed thoroughly confused with her hula hooping and birthday wishes. And when Will.I.Am led Stevie Wonder out on to the stage to rapturous applause only to begin singing a duet of his famous hit 'Happy Birthday', about a million people in Britain just looked at each other. Awkward. So, I'm here to set the record straight. The Diamond Jubilee is actually a celebration of the Queen's years on the throne. Like an anniversary. NOT her birthday (which incidentally is in April, although many Commonwealth countries celebrate it on other days). However, joking aside, it was an absolutely fantastic day and a perfect show of solidarity and general merriment.
As a British person, I feel so proud that the whole world has been obsessed with London and our Royal Family ever since Wills and Kate got engaged. Interest in the Royals has been reignited, mainly by the younger side of the Royal Family. The Duchess is perfect for this representation and it does help that she does it whilst looking fabulous in Alexander McQueen. I can't wait for the next national celebration. Scones and all.