Day 158 of 366: Blog Challenge 2012

Queen Elizabeth II enjoying the River Pageant

Hello all

These last few days I have been engrossed in watching the ceremonies for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee unfold. Well, that’s not strictly true as I recorded them and watched them at a more appropriate hour!

Still, I captured the spirit of it all and as much as I am not adverse to Australia becoming a Republic, I think the Queen is an amazing lady. As far as my memory goes, she is the only Monarch I have ever known in my lifetime; I was only six years old when Elizabeth came to the throne.

Now all this reminds me that today – here in the Sunshine State of Queensland – it is Queensland Day. You get it? QUEENS-land Day? Yes our state was named after a reigning Queen, but not this particular Queen. We were named after Queen Victoria. Here is the blurb on the Government website:

“Queensland Day itself acknowledges the birth of Queensland as a self-governing colony, the anniversary of the date on which Queen Victoria signed documents granting Queensland the right to its own representative government.

So with a name like QUEENSLAND how can we not acknowledge the second Queen to have reached a milestone of 60 years on the throne? Apparently Queen Victoria was not able to attend all the celebrations held for her when she celebrated her Diamond Jubilee 60 years as she couldn’t walk far (she was 76 at the time). There are some differences though, between Victoria and Elizabeth.

Not only did 86-year-old Elizabeth attend all of the four-days of ceremonies but she  surprised me by standing up through the whole 2+ hours of the amazing River Pageant which she clearly enjoyed. Okay, so she gets that frumpy look on her face that all older people get when they are engrossed in something, but if you were there for the long haul, you would have seen the delight on her face.

Victoria on the other hand, had a one-day celebration (a carriage procession) which only saw the light of day thanks to funding by Sir Thomas Lipton (yes of Lipton Tea fame). She also refused to wear a Golden Robe as her ministers begged her to do  and simply had ANOTHER black silk outfit made up!

All in honour of the beloved Albert who died far too young. Still, four million people came to London for Victoria’s Jubilee and it was the biggest celebration of its kind ever seen in Britain. The Queen, at that time, ruled over a quarter of the world’s population!

Victoria thought it was all very grand and wrote of the occasion in her Journal (which has been released of late to the public): “The crowds were quite indescribable and their enthusiasm truly marvelous and deeply touching.” But she attended the Service at St. Paul’s from her carriage!

Elizabeth does not have an Empire as Victoria did, but she has held the Commonwealth together very well thank you very much.  She has amazed all of us, not just by looking wonderful in silver-ish clothes but by coming back day after day for the next event. What a stamina! What a Monarch! (see my Feb 6th blog on The Diamond Jubilee).

In a news item today I heard that Queen Elizabeth said she was “humbled and touched” by the outpouring of  love shown by the people who had waited in the rain to honour her. Isn’t this typical of her? She is the one who earlier in the year said: “she was dedicating herself anew” to her people.”  So I will say out loud here on my blog:

I salute you today Elizabeth II. I think we can safely say: YOU ARE A LEGEND!

Today I will leave you with a photo gallery of the River Pageant (compliments of Yahoo) which captured my fancy  There were plenty of celebrations but these ones from the Pageant are lovely:

THE RIVER PAGEANT

The boats are all lined up and ready for the spectacular River Pageant (1000 boats)

 

I love this picture, I feel I am almost in the boat rowing …

 

The Queen with Phillip, Camilla and Catherine enjoying the show. I wonder what Phillip is trying to see?

Prince Edward looks over to where a huge photo of his mother’s Silver Jubilee is on a building. Probably looking at how young he was there …

I love this bit of levity amongst the younger Royals. It’s great that they were having a few laughs to keep them going!

 

You simply cannot keep Beatrice and Eugenie down, can you? At least their hats aren’t too bad this time around!

 

The Grand Finale as the fireworks explode off the Tower Bridge. They look okay despite the rain pelting down.

 

 

 

 

 

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