If I were more of a royalist this weekend I would probably indulged in cream teas and hung out the union jack bunting celebrate the official birthday of HM The Queen. Instead I gave thanks for the public holiday and settled in for a longer weekend.
I find it hard to think about the Queen without a cringing reminder of one of my most humiliating moments in my professional career. After months of planning, rehearsing and briefing one of the most auspicious moments of a visit by HM I was managing went horribly wrong. To be fair to HM took the slip up in her stride, discretely pointing out the inadequacy and offering to remedy the situation at a later date before gliding onto the next element of the itinerary. As then, there is nothing to be served in pointing the finger of blame now. Although I confess that this experience conditioned me never trust anyone whatever their rank, role or qualifications when it comes to the finer details of event management. Or you can just call me a control freak.
It’s a strange thing that it is only those in the colonies explicitly benefit from Our Sovereign’s birthday when in place that she reigns supreme such celebration is marked only a ceremonial outing of the Queen’s armed forces known as trooping the colour. This year this will be held on 14 June so if I wanted to drag myself across London to watch I could.
It is like an extended version of the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace which is a great snippet of British pageantry. My abiding childhood memories of Trooping of the colour are of blanket coverage on Saturday morning TV schedules with the usual children’s broadcasts replaced by a tedious parade of people wearing large furry hats and TV commentators bleating on about nothing in particular. Might be intriguing to head to the palace this year and see if it will be any more exciting for real.
Living in New Zealand it’s quite the treat to get a longer weekend without enduring ceremonial high jinx. I do wonder how New Zealanders might feel about losing this holiday if they declared independence of homeland rule. This is an important staging point in the New Zealand calendar providing a welcome break half way through the year and the final fling before winter. This weekend was a particular bonus with three days of gloriously uplifting sunshine days.