Diamond Jubilee Bank Holiday wishes (and weather forecast)

June 1, 2012 at 4:36 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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diamond jubilee weekend creativeThe Diamond Jubilee weekend has finally arrived and I imagine that lots of people will be keeping an eye on the weekend’s weather forecast. After a scorching weekend last week I had my fingers crossed for more sunshine but it seems that the Diamond Jubilee might see damper conditions.

BBC weather has forecasted a dry day on Saturday. However, the weather will become cooler and over cast by Sunday during the River Pageant where rain is expected. Monday and Tuesday both look similar with cloud and rain predicted. Hopefully the weather won’t upset too many parties, remember it wouldn’t be British without a bit of rain. Check out this Union Jack umbrella to celebrate in style, whatever the weather.

On a final note I’d like to wish everyone a fantastic Diamond Jubilee weekend. I hope that you’ve enjoyed my Diamond Jubilee blogs and got plenty of inspiration for street and garden parties. I’ll be posting photos of my Jubilee celebrations next week and look forward to hearing about your celebrations too!

Happy Diamond Jubilee to the Queen.

Diamond Jubilee Recipes – Pimm’s Cocktails

June 1, 2012 at 3:56 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Pimm’s, the drink of British Summertime, is the perfect cocktail to make for a Diamond Jubilee celebration. If you’ve got a bunch of friends or neighbours around then serve a traditional Pimm’s No.1 cocktail in a punch bowl or jug- don’t forget to add mint, cucumber and orange for added fruity flavour. And when the time comes to toast Her Majesty’s 60 fantastic years why not serve a Pimm’s Royale, a truly British champagne cocktail.

Purchase Pimm’s from Sainsbury’s this weekend and you’ll receive a free ‘summer cooler pack’ which included glasses and stirrers to help make your Pimm’s cocktails event more delicious.

Diamond Jubilee Pimms

Diamond Jubilee Street Party Recipes- Homemade Pork Pies

May 31, 2012 at 4:37 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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These homemade Pork Pies will go down a treat on a Diamond Jubilee street party buffet or low key garden party. Enjoy!

DJ homemade pork pies

Gary Barlow and Andrew Lloyd Webber create Jubilee song ‘Sing’

May 31, 2012 at 3:38 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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When Gary Barlow was asked to create the official song for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee I’m sure he felt a slight sense of fear. As a judge on TV talent show, X Factor he’s used to judging the music of others but this time the tables were turned as the ultimate judge, Her Majesty the Queen, would be casting her opinion of his work.

To ensure he created a sound that the Queen would like Gary Barlow meet with Prince Charles to find out the type of music the Queen listens to. He discovered that music of the royal household is a rich collection of sounds from across the world and influenced by many different cultures.

Gary Barlow tribal choir

Gary Barlow meetin with a tribal choir

With an idea to bring the sounds of the Commonwealth together – a part of the monarch which the Queen notoriously treasures- Gary worked with Andrew Lloyd Webber to create a piece of music. He then travelled across the Commonwealth to Kenya (where he wrote the lyrics), Jamaica, the Solomon Islands and Australia to find individuals who would add something extra special to the track.

Gary Barlow Jubilee Commonwealth single

Gary Barlow travelled the Commonwealth for inspiration

Whilst travelling he captured music from different musicians; an African choir, a young Rastafarian drummer, the Royal Solomon Island Police Force Band, a tribal band, the Sydney Symphony Orchestra and children who make amazing music from improvised instruments. Together with leading vocals from Gareth Malone’s Military Wives Choir, and tambourine playing by Prince Harry, who Gary met in Jamaica, he created the Diamond Jubilee song ‘Sing’.

Sing is a fantastic piece of music which brilliant captures the admiration and joy that people have for the Queen on her Diamond Jubilee and I’m sure that she gave it the royal seal of approval. Gary’s journey around the Commonwealth nations and time spent creating the record was captured on film for a BBC One documentary that will be aired on during the Diamond Jubilee weekend on Sunday 3rd June at 7.30pm- definitely one to watch.

The Diamond Jubilee – Public Celebrations

May 31, 2012 at 12:32 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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This weekend will see communities come together to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. Listed are some of the public events that have been organised to help get families into the spirit of the Diamond Jubilee. They all sound like great fun and are hassle free alternatives to a street party.

Battersea Park Festival in South London is hosting one of the most anticipated Diamond Jubilee festivals on Sunday 3rd June. The retro themed festival will celebrate all things British focusing particularly on the past 60 years.

Battersea Park Jubilee Festival

Battersea Park Jubilee Festival

Battersea’s festival has all the regular features of a festival; live music and entertainment but also includes quirky twists. A classic car boot sale, a village fete and demonstrations from The Women’s Institute plus dance lessons, craft shows and a sing-a-long in pop up pub ‘The Diamond Geezer’.

The event is set to be a real knee’s up. Even better festival goers will also be able to see the Thames River Pageant from Battersea Park- click for more information. 

Hyde Park Jubilee Family Festival by Sainsbury’s is the perfect family day out over the Diamond Jubilee Bank Holiday weekend. The festival, which is open on both the 2nd and 3rd June, will be presented by Myleen Klass and Jon Culshaw with family friendly performances from the Disney Orchestra, Strictly Come Dancing and Warhorse.

Jubilee Family Festival in Hyde Park

Jubilee Family Festival in Hyde Park

Hyde Park’s family festival is spilt into four stages; Main Stage (perfect for the whole family), Kids Zone, Commonwealth Stage and Parade Ground. Across those area will be performances to suit the audience and honour the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. I’d personally like to watch Commonwealth dance performance live on stage and get a feel for the different cultures from countries within the Commonwealth as it’s an area of the monarchy that the Queen is incredibly passionate about.

For more information about the event including performers, event information and ticket purchasing visit Sainsbury’s Jubilee Family Festival website.

BBC Big Screens will be screening Diamond Jubilee events in cities across the country free of charge for everyone to enjoy. So if you’re in cities such as Manchester, Birmingham, Bristol, Leeds, Edinburgh, Swansea or Cardiff go along to a BBC Big Screen and soak up the atmosphere of your entire city enjoying the Diamond Jubilee.

Big Screen Jubille

Watch the Diamond Jubilee with your entire city on BBC Big Screens

Watching via BBC Big Screens are great if you live in an inner city area and don’t have the space or access to host a street/garden party. And if the Royal Wedding is anything to go by I’m sure thousands of city goers will flock to the Big Screens to see the Diamond Jubilee celebrations unfold.

I’d recommend taking a picnic of goodies if you’re planning on staying for an entire day so that you don’t miss any of the jubilee celebrations- click for full listing of cities with BBC Big Screens covering the Diamond Jubilee.

The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee – The best commemorative memorabilia

May 30, 2012 at 12:53 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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The high street is packed with Diamond Jubilee products that will add the perfect finishing touch to any Diamond Jubilee celebration this weekend. Products range from teapots and cushions to champagne and cake stands. The choices are endless and cost anything from a couple of pounds to hundreds, so there is something for everyone.

If you’re struggling to decide on what Diamond Jubilee purchase to make then check out my favourite Diamond Jubilee products below.


60 years a Queen Mug – £24.95 from Emma Bridgwater
Jubilee Egg Cup – £9.95 from Emma Bridgewater
The Royal Scrapbook– £20.00 from John Lewis
Jubilee Teapot – £75.00 from Emma Bridgwater
Celebration Jubilee Handbag– £19.95 from Harrods
Queen Diamond Jubilee Cookies in tall tin– £3.49 from Selfridges
Special edition Diamond Jubilee Hamper- £120.00 from Highgrove
Union Jack cupcake cases– £2.00 from John Lewis
Crown Cushion– £19.50 Marks & Spencer
Red royal jubilee wash bag– £28.00 from Cath Kidston
Union Jack Lanson Champagne– from Champagne Direct.com
Radley Cake Stand– £25.00 from House of Fraser
Jubilee Teatowel– £5.99 from Lakeland
Diamond Jubilee Stamp collection from Royal Mail

Street Party Food Recipes- Union Jack Crown Biscuits

May 29, 2012 at 3:13 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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I’ve always found that food is a fantastic way to bring people together so make plenty of party nibbles for your Diamond Jubilee street party. I’d recommend making food that the majority of people will enjoy and remember to keep recipes simple, affordable and easy to make in bulk.

I posted my sausage rolls, scotch eggs and royal cupcakes recipes during the Royal Wedding- click links to see- and I’ll be posting more of my favourite street party recipes over the week.

Today’s Union Jack Crown biscuits are easy to make and can be decorated however you like (crowns, union jacks, red white and blue) which is why I’d suggest making these with grandchildren. Once the biscuits have baked give the children some icing and let them decorate whilst you get on with another task – simple!

Diamond Jubilee Union Jack Biscuits

Top Tip: Use a cake cutter to make your biscuits extra special. This month’s edition of Woman & Home magazine is giving away a free crown cake cutter especially for the Diamond Jubilee which works really well.

Diamond Jubilee- What to watch…

May 28, 2012 at 4:42 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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The Diamond Jubilee is set to be the biggest national celebration since the Royal Wedding in April 2011. So it comes as little surprise that live footage will be on the television and radio over the weekend.

Most television channels including BBC, ITV and Sky have chosen to return to the correspondents who covered the Royal Wedding. Huw Edwards and Sophie Raworth are at the helm of the BBC’s Diamond Jubilee coverage. Phillip Schofield and Julie Etchingham will be taking the reins at ITV and Dermot Murnagham, Eamonn Holmes and Sarah Hewson will be reporting for Sky News.

You’ll be able to watch live footage throughout most of the weekend on all channels so stay tuned!

What to watch Dimaond Jubliee

What I’m looking forward to watching over the Diamond Jubilee weekend.


Watch to watch in the run up to the weekend.

  • The Queen and I – ITV 8pm tonight- Ordinary people sharing their personal encounters with The Queen over her reign.
  • A tribute to the Queen by Prince of Wales– BBC 1 8pm 1st June- A personal tribute from Prince Charles which includes unseen images and home movies of the Queen.
  • Elizabeth: Queen, Wife, Mother– ITV 9pm 1st June- Alan Titchmarsh presents a touching documentary for the Diamond Jubilee. This documentary gives a personal insight into the Queen by her closest family including Princes William and Andrew and Princess Anne.

Top Coverage Tip: Remember that most news channel including BBC, ITV and Sky News will be keeping up to date online coverage of the Diamond Jubilee with special news updates, Twitter Feeds and Facebook statuses.

Annette’s Websites of the Week- Just Giving, Queen Victoria’s Scrapbook and BBC’s Diamond Jubilee

April 27, 2012 at 2:42 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Annette's websites of the week

Claire Squire’s Just Giving page The untimely death of Claire Squires, the 30 year old runner who collapsed and died only a mile away from the finish line of last weekend’s London Marathon, has dominated this week’s headlines. Despite been an incredibly sad story the generosity of the public in such a sad time has been overwhelming.

Claire Squires Just Giving

Claire Squires' Just Giving for Samaritans

Over 70,000 donations have been made on Claire’s Just Giving charity page raising an incredible £811,000 (at this moment in time) for her chosen charity, Samaritans. Inspired by Claire’s story I’ve pledge a donation myself and feel confident that it will be welcomed tribute to Claire and help both her family and Samaritans regain something positive from such a tragic lose.


Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee Scrapbook Prior to Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee only one other monarch has achieved such a milestone, Queen Victoria who celebrated her Jubilee in 1897. To celebrate the first ever Diamond Jubilee, and the life and reign of Queen Victoria, the website ‘Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee Scrapbook’ has was launched this week.

The interactive site, which allows users to click through an online scrapbook, covers all areas of Queen Victoria’s life including her becoming a Queen, her love and marriage to Prince Albert, the Queen’s home and her empire and Diamond Jubilee celebrations.

Queen Victoria Diamond Jubilee Scrapbook

Queen Victoria Diamond Jubilee Scrapbook Homepage

What’s so unique about the website is that all content, including official documents, paintings, audio and film clips, diary entries and personal letters from Queen Victoria, are from Royal archives which have been specially opened for people to enjoy prior to this summer’s celebrations.

I’d most definitely recommend this website if you’re interested in learning more about Queen Victoria and her Diamond Jubilee (a great site for grandchildren) as it includes everything from pressed flowers from Queen Victoria’s Jubilee bouquet and even the royal seating plan of the 1897.


BBC Diamond Jubilee: Royal Tour MapsYesterday I blogged about the Queen and Prince Phillip visiting South Wales on the welsh leg of their Diamond Jubilee Tour of the UK. Throughout the coming months the Queen will visit the towns and cities throughout the country whilst other members of the Royal family will represent the Queen overseas.

On these visits The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will travel to South East Asia, Prince Charles and The Duchess of Cornwall will visit Australia and New Zealand and The Duke of York will travel to India.

BBC Royal tours in maps

BBC Royal tours in maps

Throughout these visits, many of which are in commonwealth countries, special tributes will made to the Queen and her 60 years on the throne. To keep track of the Diamond Jubilee globetrotting the BBC have created a site with interactive maps that documents the royal tours.

One map follows the Queen and Prince Phillip’s tour of the UK and the other, a map of the globe, tracks all international visits. Each map is pinpointed with destinations where the Royal family will visit and will be updated with videos clips, photos and articles about their travels as they happen.

A great way to keep up to date with the events in the run up to the Diamond Jubilee.

Kensington Palace reopens to the public after £12 million renovation

March 27, 2012 at 1:21 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Kensington Palace, the birth place of Queen Victoria and royal residence to Princess Margaret and Diana, Princess of Wales, was reopened to the public yesterday after a two year renovation projection that cost £12 million.

Steeped in history Kensington Palace has been a tourist attraction for years; it first opened its doors to the public in 1899. But the royal palace had a reputation for being ‘stuffy’ and visitors were often left disappointed by the number of restricted areas.

The recent renovation hopes to not only showcase the history and heritage of Kensington Palace but also bring the palace up to date with the modern royal family. To do such, a new Jubilee Garden has been created, which will now be used as the official entrance, and once inside visitors will be greeted by a contemporary light sculpture called ‘Luminous Lace’.

Luminous Lace light sculpture

‘Luminous Lace’ light sculpture

Visitors are also promised a detailed insight into Kensington Palace and the royals who have resided there over time. The renovation has introduced a number of new exhibitions which are set to be popular amongst tourists- I’m hoping to make it to London over the summer to visit Kensington Palace myself.

Queen Victoria is heavily focused upon in public areas as visitors will be able to view ‘Victoria Revealed’ an exhibition that delves into the life of Queen Victoria. A collection of the Queen’s childhood treasures, including her childhood dolls, sketchbooks and even shoes will be on display alongside the wedding outfits which she and Prince Albert wore on their wedding day.

Queen Victoria wedding dress

Queen Victoria's wedding dress on display

Visitors will also be able to enter the Red Saloon room where Queen Victoria held her first Privy Council and view a collection of video footage from her Diamond Jubilee in 1897 which is fitting for 2012.

Kensington Palace has also revealed that the exhibition ‘Diana: glimpses of a modern princess’ will be on display until September. Dedicated to the late Diana, Princess of Wales, the exhibition showcases the fashion of Princess Diana and includes a number of dresses which she wore at royal engagements.

Princess Diana kensington palace wallpaper

Wallpaper design by Julie Verhoeven is featured in the Diana exhibition

The Palace has noted that this exhibition is small in comparison to others but significant because Kensington Palace was her royal home. I believe that although small in size this exhibition may draw the largest crowds because Diana was the people’s princess.

After an enormous renovation in the public areas of Kensington Palace it would seem that the work doesn’t stop there as a private wing of the palace is now under renovation for the arrival of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge who will be residing there from next year.

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