Reign, Rain

Team Ettinger writes: It’s been over a week since the Diamond Jubilee pageant — the spectacular 1000-plus boat flotilla down the Thames to celebrate the Queen’s sixty-year reign — and now that we’re finally warm and completely dry, it seems time to reflect on the experience.

We arrived at 10:30, which was early enough to find room to stand third-deep on the north bank between Southwark and London Bridges. Because the first boat didn’t cross in front of us for another five-and-a-half hours, we had plenty of time to observe and envy some of our fellow revellers and the preparations they had made — most seemed better supplied with food and all were certainly better dressed to cope with the early summer weather.

The rainfall and good spirits persisted during our wait, accompanied by the smell of sausage rolls, the sound of champagne corks popping, and the sight of the Shard disappearing and reappearing as the clouds lifted and fell.

When the boats finally arrived, the chilly, choppy, grey of the Thames became the perfect backdrop to these bursts of moving colour; it was a lovely sight.

The festive atmosphere became electric when the Spirit of Chartwell, the royal barge, loomed into view. It was suddenly more difficult to see with all the pennant-waving and the crush of the crowd. But if you look closely, you can see the Queen in white.

Some people left after the Queen’s appearance, but there were more great moments to come. Especially poignant was the sight of the forty-or-so Dunkirk little boats that joined in the festivities.

All in all, it was a thrilling, fitting, British celebration, truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience. And somehow, the inclement weather made it that much more memorable. We know that people all over were marking the occasion in some way; whether you were Thames-side, TV-side, or elsewhere, please let us hear about your jubilee celebrations.

One comment on “Reign, Rain

  1. I blog too and I’m creating a thing related to this article,
    “Reign, Rain Thoughts on Life and Leather”.
    Would you mind if perhaps I personallyimplement a number of your personal points?
    Thanks -Rogelio

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