Last week I decided to host a little contest to get in on the fun of the Diamond Jubilee for Queen Elizabeth II. Today I would like to announce that the lucky winner of my Diamond Jubilee care package was Mary (comment #9). She answered all the questions correctly, as did most everyone really, and even had a funny answer to the last question as well. Just to remind everyone (or educate anyone that cares to learn more about The Queen), I’ve listed the questions and answers below.
Q. When did Queen Elizabeth II ascend to the throne (day, month, and year)?
A. 6 February 1952
Q. When was The Queen’s official coronation ceremony (day, month, and year)?
A. 2 June 1953
Q. How many independent countries currently make up the Commonwealth realm that have The Queen as their sovereign?
A. 16: Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Canada,, Grenada, Jamaica, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Soloman Islands, Tuvalu, and United Kingdom.
Q. Which British Monarch reigned longer than Queen Elizabeth II?
A. Queen Victoria – She reigned for 63 years and 7 months from 20 June 1837 to 22 January 1901.
Q. What year did The Queen and Prince Philip marry?
A. 20 November 1947
Q. Does The Queen shop at Costco? Okay, this one doesn’t strictly have a correct answer and is just for fun.
A. I’ve heard she is quite thrifty and suspect that her household definitely has a membership. As Mary said, all of those palace bathrooms aren’t going to stock themselves with toilet paper.
On Sunday we went down to the banks of the Thames to watch the Jubilee Thames Pageant. We ended up having an excellent vantage point right across from the Globe Theatre and The Tate Modern, and right near the Millennium Bridge. We had gotten there early enough that we were able to stand right in front even. But the weather was abysmal! It was cold and rainy all day long. And then it cleared as they were starting things and we were hopeful that the rain would hold off, but no, first it started to lightly sprinkle and then towards the middle of the flotilla (right around the time the narrow boats started past) it started to truly rain. And then it started to rain harder. And by the time the last boat was coming past it was pouring! So we decided that 8 hours (yes, seriously) of standing in the cold and pouring rain was our limit and we left when the last boat holding the symphony was coming up to our spot. We really were impressed with teh first part of the pageant that included the belfry boat with the eight chiming bells and all of the man powered boats and the royal barge. There were so many row boats and they were so nicely festooned with flags and bunting that it was very fun and festive.
As a result of our pageant excursion, we decided to skip the concert on Monday. Since we didn’t have tickets we would have just ended up standing on the Mall with the thousands of other people watching on the big screen. So, we figured that we could do that in our own home and have a much better view.
Luckily we were able to catch a little bit of the carriage procession on Tuesday. If we had gotten up earlier it would have been so easy for us to walk over to the area around St. Paul’s when The Queen was driving by, since the crowds were quite light at that point. But I really like to see the horses, bands, and soldiers; it is quite impressive. If you’ve been to London and seen the procession for the Changing of the Guards, it was like that only bigger with more of everything and the royal family in carriages. If you missed it, you can catch the Trooping the Colour which takes place on Saturday, 16 June 2012 to mark the official birthday of The Queen. The event should start around 10 am and end with a flypast at around 1 pm.