Diamond Jubilee

Life in the US of A is good, but it’s such a shame we’re missing the festivities in the UK for the Queen’s Diamond Jubillee and the Summer Olympics!

The BBC reports:

The Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant is one of the biggest live events to ever take place in London. It has taken two years to plan and is costing £10.5m of private money. That sum does not include the cost of policing which falls to the taxpayer but Lord Salisbury, who chairs the team that organised the pageant, is promising “a hell of a show … to thank the Queen for 60 years’ hard labour”.

I have to say that as an American, I’m both baffled and interigued by the monarchy of the United Kingdom. In many countries, 60 years in power signals a dictatorship, not a democratic society. Yet, in the UK the whole monarchy has a romantic fairy-tale feel to it – with Lords and Ladies and castles. Just take the queen’s royal rowbarge Gloriana. It’s the “largest rowed vessel in the UK. It has been specially built for the occasion and will lead the whole flotilla of more than 1,000 vessels. The gilded barge is made from wood from sweet chestnut trees grown on Prince Charles’ own private estate.” Chestnut trees from Prince Charles’ private estate? I wouldn’t be surprised if he also has a magic beanstalk.

When Elizabeth was crowned queen in 1952 The British Empire stretched across the globe and posessed about 90 ocuntries. The changes that have taken place in the 60 years of the Queen’s reign are incredible, but both the monarchy and people of the United Kingdom seem to have adjusted well.

The UK seems more content with grey areas and have successfully managed to maintain both a constitutional monarchy and a parliamentary system. And even the British weather won’t stop the celebrations today!

The Magic Pig and more

Our holiday in England continued with a few days in London where we met up with old friends, ran around (literally) Hyde Park, explored the Natural History Museum, Piccadilly and Soho, and ate steamed buns in Chinatown.

Unfortunately I came down with a horrid bout of the flu upon our return to Haddenham. I had a fever but felt ice cold. We got a beautiful dusting of snow in time for Dan & P’s long walk in the Chiltern Hills.  D & I went to see the a play of Rapunzel or the Magic Pig at the enchanting mirror tent.  We brought mulled wine and lemon polenta cake to enjoy as we watched the delightful tale.