My Dear Americans,
I must have been distracted for the last several weeks,...or to be honest months, because, as of writing, I just noticed this Platinum Jubilee thingy is happening this week, and then I only noticed it because my American wife ordered me to put up some bunting and flags to celebrate. I did remind her which side won the Revolutionary War and that it was fought mainly to get rid of kings (and presumably queens too), but to no avail.
Then I remembered how many Americans seem to feel about British royalty: how for example in-laws and the like would get up at three or four in the morning to stagger to their TVs to blearily, though intently, watch royal weddings. And I can assure you that all of which information I gathered from report and surmise since you'd never catch me getting so excited about people whose main claim to fame, fortune, or whatever was that their ancestors were better at killing and sleeping with the right people though usually (unless they were Henry the Eighth) not the exact same people... or at least not the same people at the same time.
But it seems like most people over here, and at this jubilee time, would make those bleary-eyed wedding-watching Americans look like the revolutionaries their ancestors would want them to be. They are jubilee mad.
Mad, I tell you!
I know that this is the 70th year that the Queen has avoided not being queen any more, and has been preceded by (in inverse Miss World order) the Sapphire Jubilee, Diamond Jubilee, Golden Jubilee, Silver Jubilee, and I believe, the Silver Plate Jubilee, Electro-plate-non-silver Jubilee, the Stainless-steel Jubilee and the Plastic-picnic-ware Jubilee, it all seems to be a bit much. I mean they are even having an extra Federal---I mean Bank---Holiday, sort of like Christmas in July, or more accurately Thanksgiving in June.
Not only that, but there is an absolute plethora of jubilee activities in Beccles.
According to the Beccles jubilee "What's On" brochure there's the "Beccles Twinning Association Garden Party" in the Beccles Library Garden (we are apparently still twinned with Petit-Couronne in France, even after Brexit, and the Queen visited there in 1972)
And you can "Go sky high ... at the top of the Bell Tower", sky high being a bit of an exaggeration since, while admittedly the tallest building in Beccles, is only the 4,529th tallest in the UK, by my estimate.
Then there are various cream1 and afternoon teas in various churches; the National Platinum Beacon Lighting; the Worlingham Fun Afternoon; the Youth Theatre is presenting an "old fashioned radio play entitled 'The Queen's Coronation' ... with dollops of nostalgia"; Jubilee Lego Club; Jubilee Craft Club where you "can make your own royal crowns"; you can revisit how "Beccles has marked jubilees in the past"; go to various church services; and finally, and I'm not sure if this is my favourite or merely the most amusingly ambiguous "Swim at the Lido dressed as a Queen" at Beccles Lido Puddingmore as the brochure tells you "Booking is not required, but advisable to avoid disappointment".
All this is happening from the 2nd to the 5th June. Not my cup of tea, but a lot of fun for certain values of "fun" (especially the Worlingham Fun Afternoon)
Actually I should confess that one of my earliest memories from childhood was of the Children's Coronation Tea at 4.15 on the afternoon of the second of June 1953.
I was six, and it was a Tuesday.
My memory, though, wasn't that specific or detailed. I just remembered crawling about under some tables with white table-cloths in the middle of the street. Indeed, until recently I wasn't even sure if it was a real one. Then, going through Mum's papers, looking for memorabilia that Georgia (remember? American wife?) could contribute to the Woman's Institute jubilee display, I found the actual "Programme of Celebrations" for the Coronation!
Anyway, if this letter is the only notice you have received about the event and that because of my inattention you have thus missed it, all I can say is "Sorreeeeee!"
and, of course,
Cheerio for now
1 For example:
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