I apologise in advance, this post will be patriotic, royalist and probably a tad jingoistic too. This weekend, as you cannot fail to have noticed, was Her Majesty’s Diamond Jubilee. 60 years on the throne (no jokes about a lack of fibre in her diet, please) were marked with a flotilla, a concert, and a service at St. Paul’s Cathedral. What was remarkable about the celebrations for this Jubilee is that hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of people turned out to show their support for the Royal Family at every event, even when it was pissing it down on Sunday. Last night (Monday) I met up with my friend Will (who was going to write for this blog, then got distracted by something shiny), his girlfriend, and his family in St. James’ Park, just off The Mall, which is the road you can see in the picture above that leads from Admiralty Arch to Buckingham Palace. We had a picnic in the afternoon, and stayed for the concert, which had quite possibly the greatest line-up of musical talent since, well, the last Jubilee concert. Below are my photos and memories of the day, starting with a walk around The Mall and bits of Covent Garden, the picnic, and the concert itself.
This is Neal’s Yard, a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it courtyard in Covent Garden. My friend Ant and I shared a beer here while the crowds poured in to London, creating the most magnificent party atmosphere:
We also ate M&Ms:
This was at about half 3 in the afternoon, at the rear of The Mall. The crowds were already partying hard. We heard reports later that there were around 300,000 of us on The Mall and in the park:
In no way did we cobble this picnic together at the last minute. Lots of planning went into it. What you can’t see, just out of shot, is a box of the most delicious cookies ever sold in the UK, made by Ben’s Cookies in Covent Garden. Their website is here.
The park was really full – they started turning people away and out onto the Mall by about 6 o’clock. Although we had a nice picnic area for the afternoon, by the time the concert started we had to stand, as there simply was not enough room to sit. The last few pictures take you through to the end of the concert and the fireworks, and hopefully give you some idea of the simply epic number of people in the audience!