Monday, June 04, 2012
I would be remiss if I did not pay tribute to Elizabeth II this week as the British Empire commemorates 60 years with Queen Elizabeth as the reigning monarch. She is the longest-lived and second-longest-reigning monarch of the United Kingdom. Festivities are ongoing and included a flotilla of 1,000 boats on the Thames on June 2 with concerts, teas, and other events to follow as the week progresses. I've been enjoying televised segments of some of the festivities on BBC America, as well as timely updates from friends in the UK as they report on celebrations both on a grand scale nationally and communally.They are sharing about community lunches, colorful buntings, flags decorating the streets, and tipping teacups in tribute. It is a festive time that seems to be capturing 100% of their attention!
In my corner of the world, I look around my own home to see what can tokens and memorabilia can remind me of Queen Elizabeth and her reign. My mother was a young Canadian girl during World War II and she looked up to the Princess Elizabeth who was a teen at the time. When Elizabeth II became Queen of England, she also became Queen of Canada, a position that my mother held near and dear to her heart. I compare it to the fondness that many of us in future generations felt for Diana, Princess of Wales. Mother's fondness and respect were rooted in loyalty and favor, both attributes that Mother passed on her her own daughters. Thus, gathering small tokens of the Queen over the years has been a natural process for me. Here are some of the mementos that I have to commemorate Queen Elizabeth II. The first (above) is a plate commemorating her coronation on June 2, 1953. I received it as a birthday present from my dad about 25 years ago. He found it in an antique store on a trip across Canada that he took with his sisters. They were visiting their childhood home in Manitoba, so for me this plate commemorates that family excursion as well. Although I was not on the journey, my aunties and father have given a full report over the years.
Three coronation teacups honoring E II R can be found in my china closet. Each was designed to celebrate her 1953 coronation and each varies in style and intensity. From the ornate to simply elegant, each implicitly expresses the joy of a nation at the crowning of their young queen.
Added to the celebratory scene are tea candles that Karleen brought home and gave to me last summer after she visited Buckingham Palace. She also brought me tea in the same beautiful packaging. I am savoring it during special times.
Congratulations to the UK as they celebrate in a style only known to royalty! It's a Diamond Jubilee!