Wednesday, June 1, 2022

Queen Elizabeth's Platinum Jubilee

DEBORAH CROMBIE: Fellow Anglophiles, are you ready for Queen Elizabeth's Platinum Jubilee? 

Since I won't be attending the celebrations in person, I'm hoping that some of this weekend's events will be available to stream on Britbox, as that's the only option I've seen suggested other than using a VPN. 

But in any case, I can follow along on the Royal social media accounts (their accounts are terrific--there is even a Corgi emogi for Twitter and a sticker for Instagram!)



And I can reminisce.

In September 1976 I made my first ever visit to the UK, a whirlwind visit that was part of a "grand tour" with my parents, who had been to Europe several times. I don't think we were in London much more than a day, although we spent more time in Oxford, Bath, and the Cotswolds. It was long enough, however, for me to fall madly in love. (I do remember that top of my sightseeing list was 110 Piccadilly, the fictional home of Dorothy Sayer's Lord Peter Wimsey.)

Once back home in Texas, I worked through the winter and spring, saving my pennies, determined to get back to England as soon as possible. And what better goal than to attend the Queen's Silver Jubilee, which just happened to be my birthday weekend in June, 1977?


I kept a diary on that trip, but I have no idea what happened to it. I also have no clue how I ended up with a balcony viewing spot for the Queen's procession. I didn't know anyone in London then. But a balcony spot I had, and I snapped an entire roll of photos with my pocket sized Minox camera. 

Imagine my distress when I got the film developed back home and discovered there had been a light leak in the camera--every photo was ruined. Sigh.

I have never actually been a huge Royal follower, but 70 years on the throne is quite something and I hope everything goes well for Her Majesty. 



I'd love to see all the bunting, and the floral display at the Tower of London.




I'd love to attend a street party, ride the purple double-decker buses, and sample one of these scrumptious-looking Jubilee puddings. (These Lemon Swiss Roll and Amaretti Trifles won the Platinum Pudding competition.) 


Not to mention the concerts, the hot air balloons, the exhibitions, and the souvenirs! The British hospitality industry is hoping to make around 3 billion pounds, which would go someway towards recouping pandemic losses.



The British definitely know how to make the most of a big occasion--there will even be a special Corgi Derby in Scotland!

How about you, dear REDs and readers? Any plans to participate vicariously in the Jubilee? 

P.S. For Britbox subscribers, or those who might be tempted to subscribe, there is a two part special on this year's Chelsea Flower Show!



86 comments:

  1. Although we have no plans to participate vicariously in the Jubilee, I have to agree . . . seventy years on the throne is certainly worth celebrating.

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  2. Nope, no plans here. But it is creating a lot of extra excitement at work. Because I work for a global company, we have an extra day for fiscal close this month since those in the UK have a day off this week. HOWEVER, we don't have any extra time for the reports we have to do immediately after close, which is going to make those deadlines really tight.

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  3. YES! I am registered to attend the British High Commissioner's Platinum Jubilee event on Saturday in Ottawa. Earnscliffe, the British High Commissioner's residence is participating in Doors Open 2022. Significant & historic buildings are open for the public to tour. Before that, Prince Charles & wife Camilla did a whirlwind 3-day tour from May 17-19. I managed to snap some photos & video they toured the historic Byward Market shops & produce stalls on May 18 (5 minutes from my apartment).

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    1. Enjoy your event on Saturday

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    2. Aren't you lucky to be able to participate, Grace? Being right in the city has its advantages.

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    3. Grace, what are you going to wear? Do you have a nice hat?

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    4. KAREN: Yes, I am lucky, but also surprised that the Platinum Jubilee celebrations are so low-key. Seventy years on the throne is a big deal!

      There are few celebrations across the rest of Canada. Canada is a Commonwealth country & the Crown (Queen's) influence is everywhere in our legislation, government and laws.

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    5. What type of event will you be attending, Grace? Is it a tour or a ceremony? A tea?

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    6. Here is a snippet from the web page: This year's event will feature guided tours of Earnscliffe, the Victorian Gothic house that has been home to British High Commissioners in Ottawa since 1930. A free outdoor Platinum Jubilee street party will also be open to all visitors, showcasing British food, drink, music, culture and more!

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    7. Fabulous! Enjoy the event Grace.

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    8. Grace, you will have to tell us ALL about it! xxx

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    9. Grace, that sounds fabulous! I am green with envy!

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    10. THANKS everyone! I have never been to a British-styled street party so it should be fun. I will also probably watch some of the London Platinum Jubilee celebrations such as the Trooping the Colour & aerial flyover on Thursday c/o CBC TV.

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  4. I've always had a soft spot for the Queen. She and my mother were nearly the same age and looked alike with their wavy dark hair and rounded faces. My mom talked about following the coronation closely, amazed that this young woman would become queen. I wish Elizabeth well and congratulate her on having an iron spine to hang in there all these years.

    That said, the Jubilee wasn't even on my radar, although yesterday it popped up. Online I saw a picture of a little girl, maybe four, all dressed up in a deep pink cloche with feathers on it, a matching buttoned-up dress coat, white gloves at the ready, and a sweet smile. On a couch behind her are two corgis in crowns and royal robes!

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    1. Oh, and happy birthday, Debs!

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    2. Happiest of Birthdays, Dear Debs!

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    3. Edith, you make me smile because MY mother and the queen are very close in age and I always thought they looked a lot alike! Plus my mother's middle name is Elizabeth, so as a young child I was convinced we were related and wondered when we would be going to visit. Unfortunately because of a car accident, the queen is outliving my mother.

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    4. Elizabeth has already outlived my mother by ten years, Judi. How fun you had that connection, too.

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    5. Thank you all for the birthday wishes! It's not until Sunday the 5th, the final day of the Jubilee. I think it's quite nice of the British to have these festivities in my honor:-)

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  5. I am a shameless Anglophile (as long as you leave Boris Johnson out of the picture. And colonialism. And maybe also . . . oh well, never mind.). And I did once see and wave to the Queen as she drove by while I was living in Vancouver as a teenager. But I don't have any jubilee plans. However, if you want to celebrate her impressively long reign, I suggest reading a very entertaining mystery by S. J. Bennett called "The Windsor Knot," in which the Queen solves a murder that happens in Windsor Castle. Highly recommended!

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    1. KIM: Agreed, both the WIndsor Knot & All The Queens Men are fun reads.
      https://www.sjbennettbooks.com/books

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    2. Yes - The Windsor Knot was fun. She captured the Queen's personality, as I imagine it.
      Kim - loved your book. Hope you are writing more.

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    3. Oh, that sounds great--I will look for that!

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    4. Yes, I adored the Bennett books, and recommended them here. They also made me much more interested in the workings of the Royal households. Bennett's father had some involvement, I think, so she knows what she's writing about.

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  6. Before I forget again, I helped my mom buy The Home Wreckers for her Nook last week. Yesterday, we spent the day together (interminable eye doctor appointment), and she mentioned that she was reading it. And LOVED it. Too bad Mother isn't able to maneuver Blogger, she'd have loads of recommendations for us. She devours series, including mysteries, with the type size huge so she can see it. Thank goodness for the technology that allows her to continue to read.

    Elizabeth II is remarkable, isn't she? Seventy years on the throne is the longest monarchy in the history of the world, I've read, and she just keeps chugging along, and seems still to be sharp and with it. Not even a bout of Covid could stop her.

    Although I won't be watching the pomp and circumstance in real time, I might catch a bit of it online here and there. And I absolutely do intend to watch the Chelsea Flower Show special. I've been watching all nine seasons of Father Brown, and have just the last one left to go. After that, the Flower Show, definitely.

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    1. Wishing you a wonderful birthday, too, Debs! How are you celebrating?

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    2. I watched more of the Flower Show episodes last night and have found them so fascinating. I've been watching while doing kitchen chores, so I'd like to watch them again when I can really focus. The Chelsea Flower show has been on my bucket list for a long time, but I've now moved it up a notch.

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    3. Oh, and thank you, Karen. It's not until Sunday, but I'm having brunch at a favorite restaurant with daughter, s-in-l, and granddaughter.

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  7. So not fair, Deb! I have been on the fence about re-subscribing to Brit Box. No question now. Just as soon as I finish this comment I'm off! Will Duncan and Gemma mention the Jubilee in future books? Seems like a natural place for a bit of crime.

    Happy birthday!

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    1. I was thinking about that, Kait, just yesterday. Every time I've tied the book to a specific event, I've regretted it. It's such a difficult thing to juggle, floating story time versus real time. I doubt I'll set a book during the pandemic, either, for the same reason.

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    2. Completely understandable. Definitely not tie, just wondered if there would be an offhand comment or two, best not to have one though, I agree.

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  8. The Jubilee is not in my plans this weekend. I will be driving to Boston by myself on Saturday to visit cousins whom I adore! Irwin will stay home with Kenai who takes a long time to recover when boarded, even though he loves to go. I am pretty happy about seeing them.

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    1. Safe travels, Judy, and enjoy your reunion!

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    2. JUDY: Enjoy your weekend in Boston with your cousins!

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    3. Thanks Everyone! Looking forward to it!

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  9. Happy birthday, Debs!

    No plans to watch the Jubilee. But of all the world's leaders, I have a fondness for Elizabeth II. Everything she's done, and seen...and she just keeps going. The world will not see a woman like her again.

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    1. No, I think she is unique. What a life she's had.

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  10. Happy birthday, Debs! I'm hoping to catch at least some of the celebration. Do you think BritBox will have the best coverage?

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    1. Thank you! I went down a rabbit hole yesterday, trying to find a way to watch some of the Jubilee, and while several sources say that Britbox will have coverage, Britbox doesn't actually indicate that.

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  11. Happy Birthday, Debs. Celebrate well!

    Hmm, the british monarchy. Something to highlight every contradiction in my soul. I can get into the pomp and ceremony. But the Pavilion at Brighton, jaw-dropping as it is, makes me angry. Summed up in one word -- colonialism. And yet, look at the art! How else but with a massive aggregation of wealth do you get that kind of art? And there's the problem. Why should anyone have that much wealth? The monarchy is good for the Brits. These days, it is their version of a theme park. And that can't be good for the people who are stuck into it by birth or even those who perpetuate the image for a living. Unless of course their personality allows them to think that they are just better than everyone else by the accident of their birth. And yet, they are so much fun to watch. I love the costumes. I watch the weddings and opine on the dresses. I think the Queen has reaped much reward for surviving but I think to see her as just a sweet lady underestimates her political acumen. And yet, I see her and her family as a pawn of her handlers. I think it is fabulous to watch and fascinating to think about. Oh, and I'm definitely on the Harry/Megan side of things.

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    1. We put off taking our Canadian citizenships for 20 years, partially because I couldn't get my head around the notion of swearing fealty -- to anyone, let alone the Queen of England. When I mentioned that to most Canadians, they noted that they, native born as they were, didn't have to do that and besides, she was a nice lady. Not the point.

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    2. DEAUN: I get it. As a federal public servant, I had to swear allegiance to the Queen before accepting any job position. In the 1980s, the Govt of Canada did not give you the option to refuse. They are now making allowances for new public servant hires but you're right, Canadian citizenship ceremonies still require pledging allegiance to the Queen.

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    3. I can certainly see the difficulties and the contradictions for all the Commonwealth nations.

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  12. Happy Birthday Debs!

    I remember watching the coronation on TV, black and white of course. And I fell in
    Love with the royal couple, the pomp and circumstance, and the absolutely gorgeous Prince Philip. It looks as if the Jubilee will be featured tomorrow on the Today Show, highlights anyway.

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    1. This is Ann

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    2. Oh, thank you, Ann! I never watch daytime TV and it hadn't even occurred to me to check the Today Show. I'll record it tomorrow through Sunday. Then I just skim for the Jubilee coverage.

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  13. A big Anglophile too, love everything British (well except maybe the food - but even that is changing)! We were in London in 1977 for the Queens Silver Jubilee too Debs- maybe we crossed paths!

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  14. I don’t know whether you can get it in the US, but try CBC Gem. It is free (in Canada) or you can pay for it to get ‘platinum’. I watch just the free – think the platinum may mean no ads. I can get it on the computer, and we have the app thing on the tv, so can watch things there. There are a lot of snapshot shows of the royals on there, and more being created for this weekend. Usually, it broadcasts live shows as they happen or to watch later. Then if you get bored with all things involving the Queen, you can always watch Coronation St! Good luck.

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    1. Here is the CBC link
      https://www.cbc.ca/news/queen-platinum-jubilee-how-to-watch-1.6473049#:~:text=When%20and%20where%20to%20watch,p.m.%20NT)%20on%20CBC%20Television.

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    2. Thanks, Margo! I'll give it a shot.

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    3. Thanks, Margo! I don't think we can get CBC here, though.

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  15. For a great read and a very funny, sweet take on her majesty, try the Uncommon Reader, by Alan Bennett. And it features books. The Queen chases the corgis round the back of the palace only to find the local travelling library van in the courtyard. She steps inside to introduce herself and takes a book out. She doesn’t know if she has to pay for her card so she tells the librarian, ‘One is a senior,’ This begins her new journey into modern literature and a different view of the world. Really marvellous. Joyce W.

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    1. I have meant to read this book for ages, so I just bought it. Thanks for the reminder, Joyce!

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    2. Thanks for the suggestion--Uncommon Reader is now on my Kindle. And that's one big question cleared up for me--what does the Queen carry in that handbag. Of course, a library card!

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  16. Lorraine NorwoodJune 1, 2022 at 9:01 AM

    I'm a huge Anglophile so I'm looking forward to the festivities. I haven't been back in seven years and it's driving me nuts. I have Britbox which I watch each night. But also, Debs, Classic FM is going to be at the scene broadcasting live. Classic FM is available digitally and is free. Here's an email post I got from them:
    "Join us on Classic FM over the Platinum Jubilee Weekend for the best of British music, and live broadcasts overlooking Buckingham Palace. This weekend, we celebrate a landmark moment in British history, as Her Majesty The Queen marks 70 years on the throne. Across the weekend, we’re celebrating the occasion with plenty of brilliant music by British composers, performers and orchestras. There will be Royal commissions and dedications, music by Masters of the Queen’s Music both past and present, and performances by recipients of the Queen’s Medal for Music, including violinist Nicola Benedetti. On each of the four days, our presenters take Classic FM to the heart of the celebrations outside Buckingham Palace. Join Aled Jones (Thursday, 9am-12pm), Tim Lihoreau (Friday, 6am-9am), and Alan Titchmarsh (Saturday, 7am-10am), as they bring you music and updates live from The Mall. Plus on Sunday afternoon, Anne-Marie Minhall presents a three-hour special, Classic FM Jubilee Requests live from The Mall, 1pm-4pm.
    Elsewhere, Debbie Wiseman makes a return with Music for Monarchy on Thursday and Friday evenings from 8pm-10pm, telling the story of Her Majesty’s life through music. On Saturday, Moira Stuart presents a special three-hour Royal Concert from 4pm, featuring re-mastered anthems from Her Majesty’s 1952 coronation. Then, from 7pm she’ll hand the baton (or should that be sceptre...) to Andrew Collins for a musical tour of great British cinema, from The King’s Speech to Dunkirk."
    So wow, plenty of music and celebrations. I have some mixed feelings about the monarchy but really this is amazing. She's a pretty strong woman -- or maybe it's the Corgis.

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    1. What great programming, Lorraine, and I had no idea. Thank you so much for the tip. Looking it up now! And I give a good deal of credit to the Corgis:-)

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  17. Happy Upcoming Birthday Debs! I'm a huge Anglophile,and heard stories from my dad about the way the Royals modeled resilience during WWII. I'll look for coverage of the big event. I have an air-letter from my aunt from 1977 which had the logo from the Queen's Jubilee on it.

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    1. How lovely about the letter. I wish now I'd kept something commemorative.

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  18. It looks like we can watch some of it online, no TV required:
    https://edition.cnn.com/2022/06/01/uk/queen-elizabeth-platinum-jubilee-celebrations-guide-intl-scli-gbr/index.html

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  19. Happy Birthday, darling Debs! I have to say, um, this doesn't interest me at all. I kind of feel sorry for the Queen, and ...there's just a lot that goes with that. I mean--royalty. Hmm. But I know I will see snippets of it, and it'll be fun to see the hats. xxx

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  20. I confess I saw the pictures of the Queen in the NYTimes this morning and I did not think "platinum jubilee" - Debs, your reminiscences about your first trip to London are so charming! Made me think of my own, and how we stood on a crowded sidewalk to watch the royal procession go by. But it was the Queen Mum everyone was trying to spot.

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  21. Oooo, a special on the Chelsea Flower Show might be the item that tips me over into subscribing. No stories about HM, but I did get to see Diana at a distance several times when I was going to school in London. I marveled she was the same age I was, and thought, even then, that if I was too young to be married at twenty-one, she probably was as well. -Julia

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    1. You were certainly proved right on that, Julia.

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  22. It never fails... over the years the most enticing royal events always seem to conflict with my own life events, and I have to rely on my PVR to watch them for me. Tomorrow is election day in Ontario, a looming crisis, so I'll be out in the riding all day, pulling the vote for my candidate.

    No, wait. It looks like I can get up at 5:00 for a nice cuppa and a look at the festivities. Reminiscent of the long ago era when I would get up at 4:00 am for a Royal Wedding, and still get work on time. (Hint: none of them lasted).

    Gonna be along day.

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    1. SUSAN: Good for you for supporting your candidate on Election Day. I voted in the advanced poll last week. Most Ottawa ridings stayed Liberal in the 2018 election, and my riding (Ottawa Vanier) has been Liberal since 1971 so I would be shocked if the incumbent doesn't win.

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    2. Susan, what does "out in the riding" mean? I can't seem to google it. Thanks!

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    3. EDITH: Here is the wikipedia explanation of an electoral riding (or district/constituency) in Canada. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electoral_district_%28Canada%29

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  23. DEBORAH: Great post! Quick question: Did you live in England or Scotland for a while? I cannot recall when.

    Yes, I subscribe to Britbox and I look forward to watching the Jubilee celebrations. I tried to watch the Chelsea Flower Show but it did not have Captions. I can try again? Perhaps they add captions after the live programme?

    Diana

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  24. I lived in Scotland and England, Diana. The Flower Show does have captions, although they are not great. Lots of wrong words.

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  25. NEWS FLASH: ABC is carrying the Jubilee in the US! https://anglotopia.net/british-entertainment/brit-tv/platinum-jubilee-abc-to-carry-bbc-coverage-in-the-usa-schedule-for-american-timezones/

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  26. I love this so much! I am absolutely watching. As you say, 70 years on the throne is no small feat. Also, I desperately need that Lemon Swiss Roll and Amaretti Trifle - OMGoodness!!!

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  27. I think it's so exciting to follow the celebrations across the pond. I know someone who is over there for it and another Londoner who both promise to keep a connection and pics coming. 70 years on the throne! That is so amazing.

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  28. I was in London, staying near the royal spot folr the wedding, when Harry married Meghan and the amount of festive stuff - decorations, flags, souvenirs, plush corgis, memorial plates and cups, little flags and so on - was amazing. Brits (and souvenir lovers) do know how to celebrate royalty! (Susan Shea)

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  29. I will be missing the Philadelphia Flower Show for the third year in a row. So, I will be happy when I get a moment to sit down and watch the flower show on Britbox. Perhaps tonight, as I don’t have anywhere to be tomorrow.

    I don’t think much about the royal family, but when I was a kid, I collected stamps and I had an abundance of stamps with the Queen’s image on them.

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  30. For me, it's a massive jumble of conflicted feelings -- privilege, colonialism and the public purse on the one hand, and on the other, 'a family with a bunch of foibles played out on the public stage'. But, I feel that achieving 70 years of duty and service is noteworthy. We'll never see it again. I'll be watching, for sure.

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  31. I am not following the Platinum Jubilee, the Royals lost any fascination for me around the end of Princess Diana’s marriage. Anyone could clearly see parting with her certified at least Charles, if not his entire family (excepting their children of course) as well and truly a bunch of stupid wankers. But being on soc. media though I have seen two things so far that have made me quite happy; Meghan and Harry bringing Lilbeth to meet her paternal great grandmother while there is still an opportunity. Families should never let bad blood come between children’s connection with the rest of the family as long as contact would not present any danger to the children. The second bright note is Prince Louis’ pulling faces at the Trooping of the Colours. And the best part of that is a child being present and still natural in all situations and the procession of funny and adorable memes he has inspired for people.

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