The Diamond Jubilee Weekend- Highlights

June 6, 2012 at 2:50 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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The Diamond Jubilee weekend was packed with royal events each one lavish and wonderfully presented, which makes picking a favourite moment from the weekend extremely difficult. However, the River Pageant was remarkable and I thought that Prince Charles’ speech, which concluded the Diamond Jubilee Concert, added a rare personal touch that summed up the nations feeling of gratitude towards the Queen and Prince Phillip, who was sadly taken ill during the weekend.

Prince Charles Speech Diamond Jubilee

Prince Charles Diamond Jubilee Speech

Annette’s Diamond Jubilee Highlights

The Queen was in high spirits at the Epsom Derby on Saturday which kick started the Diamond Jubilee weekend. A horseracing fanatic, the Queen undoubtedly had a wonderful time, which set the mood for the entire weekend.

Epsom Derby Dimaond Jubilee 2012

The Epsom Derby

One of the biggest displays of the weekend was the Thames River Pageant. Although the weather was miserable the flotilla was wonderful. Seeing the Royal Family sail aboard the royal barge, Sprit of Chartwell, waving at passing boats and vessels was fantastic for all involved. I personally loved the salute from Warhorse outside the National Theatre, which the Queen also enjoyed greatly.

diamond jubilee thames river pageant

Thames River Pageant

Royal Barge Diamond Jubilee

Royal Family on the Royal Barge

Packed with iconic musical artists the Diamond Jubilee Concert was amazing. I enjoyed performances from Sir Elton John and Stevie Wonder and have to commend Rolf Harris on his wonderful and impromptu performance of Two Little Boys Alone, which got the Royal Box singing.

Diamond Jubilee Concert

Diamond Jubilee Concert

Young royals at diamond jubilee concert

Young royals enjoing the Diamond Jubilee Concert

The enormous audience on The Mall, who sang the national anthem at the spur of the moment and chanted for Prince Phillip during the Diamond Jubilee Concert, showcased just how well spirited and supportive the public are towards the Queen and Royal Family.

The Mall during Diamond Jubilee Concert

The Mall

I thought the carriage procession was a lovely way to end the Diamond Jubilee and although it was a shame that the Duke of Edinburgh wasn’t present it was nice to see the Queen and the rest of the Royal Family make their way to Buckingham Palace in such traditional style.

carriage procession dimaond jubilee

The Queen in the Dimaond Jubilee carriage procession

The fly past by the Red Arrows added the finishing touch to a truly British occasion and brought a definite smile to the Queen’s face, which was a delight.

Red Arrows Diamond Jubilee

Red Arrows

Diamond Jubilee - Carriage Procession And Balcony Appearance

Diamond Jubilee Balcony Appearance

This weekend was packed with beautiful clothing from all royals including the Queen who opted for garments with a regal sparkle during most of the Diamond Jubilee weekend.

Jubilee Fashion

Jubilee Royal Fashion

Yesterday evening the Queen presented a broadcast of thanks to the nation and Commonwealth after her spectacular Diamond Jubilee weekend. The unexpected message of appreciation nicely rounded off the Diamond Jubilee and gave the feeling that Queen has enjoyed the festivities very much indeed.

The Diamond Jubilee Royal Carriage Procession – Tuesday 5th June 2012

June 5, 2012 at 9:00 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee weekend is coming to an end and to complete a wonderful royal occasion the Queen and other members of the Royal Family will attend a service of Thanksgiving at St. Paul’s Cathedral followed by a carriage procession to Buckingham Palace today.

I’ve always felt that carriage processions are the icing on top of any royal occasion. When Prince William and new wife Kate made their way from Westminster Abbey after the Royal Wedding in 2011, their carriage procession was the perfect opportunity to showcase the new royal couple and it was fantastic to watch.   

State Landau Carriage

The State Landau Carriage which will be used today

Today the Queen and Prince Phillip will travel in the same carriage used by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on their wedding day, the State Landau Carriage which dates back to 1902 and is steeped in royal history. Following the Queen and Prince Phillip will be members of The Household Cavalry riding on horseback. The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall will follow in another royal carriage with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry behind. The Royal Family will be joined by over 10000 military personnel who will line the route.

Once the procession reaches Buckingham Palace the Queen and her family will make a balcony appearance, which I’m sure will delight the thousands of spectators who are expected on The Mall. After a short period on the balcony of Buckingham Palace the Red Arrows will perform an honouree fly past for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.


A traditional Royal Carriage Procession

The flypast will draw the Diamond Jubilee weekend to a close, and what a spectacular royal occasion it has been. I’ve had the most wonderful time celebrating 60 years of the Queen and I’m sure that she is thrilled with the response to her Diamond Jubilee. Now the nation has the Olympics to look forward too. What a brilliant British summer!

Download the order of service from the ceremony at St. Paul’s Cathedral here –Jubilee Order of Service.

The Diamond Jubilee Celebrations so far… River Pageant, Street Parities and Diamond Jubilee Concert

June 4, 2012 at 9:00 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee weekend is in full swing and I hope that everyone is enjoying the royal celebrations as much me. I’ve indulged in Diamond Jubilee biscuits and a drop of celebratory champagne in honour of Her Majesty.

Like expected yesterday’s Diamond Jubilee River Pageant, which saw over 1000 boats, vessels and barges travel down the River Thames, was absolutely spectacular. Having not seen a flotilla on such a large scale before, I was blown away by the grandness of the occasion. Its goes without saying that the River Pageant will be a moment in modern Royal history that will be remembered for a long time.

Although official Diamond Jubilee events are taking place in London (it was fantastic to see so many Union Jacks flying at the Pageant) it appears that Diamond Jubilee fever is successfully spreading across the entire country. I’ve already seen a handful of street and garden parties, beautifully decorated with patriotic bunting, which is great to see in the local community.

Diamond Jubilee Street Party

Lucky for us there are more jubilee celebrations on the way today as Buckingham Palace is hosting the Diamond Jubilee Concert, which will see performances from Sir Paul McCartney, Tom Jones, Kylie Minogue, Ed Sheeran and Cliff Richard plus many more. I’ll be watching coverage from the Diamond Jubilee Concert on BBC One from 7.30pm.  I’d recommend tuning in as the concert is promised to be a fantastic show, who knows what surprises organiser, Gary Barlow has tucked up his sleeve.

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- Iconic images of The Queen during her reign

June 1, 2012 at 1:33 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Photographs have successfully caught each moment of the Queen’s reign from her coronation in 1952, the hundreds of overseas tours which she has carried out around the world and royal occasions here in Britain and in the Commonwealth nations.

In honour of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee I’ve chosen a selection of photographs which I think capture some of the Queen’s greatest moments. See her travelling, making the first ever televised Christmas speech and spending time with her family and beloved corgis.

The Queen Coronation

The Queen coronation 1952

The Queen first christmas speec

The first televised Christmas Speech in 1957

The Queen on the Royal Yacht Briatnnia

The Queen on the Royal Yacht Britannia

1975-mexico_the queen

The Queen on an oversea tour in Mexico 1975

Silver Jubilee 1977

The Queen’s Silver Jubilee in 1977

the queen with her beloved corgies

The Queen with her beloved Corgis

The Queen Oversea TOurs

Another oversea tour for The Queen

The Queen horse riding

The Queen has enjoyed horse riding since childhood

military inspection

The Queen carrying out a military inspection with Prince William

royal wedding

The Royal Wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge

Royal visit to Leicester

During 2012’s Diamond Jubilee Tour of the UK with the Duchess of Cambridge

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.

Food of the Queen- My six dishes of the Queen’s reign

May 30, 2012 at 4:30 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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This weekend’s Diamond Jubilee will be largely celebrated with food and drink which got me thinking about the dishes that remind me of the Queen and her 60 year reign. I’ve come up with six dishes –one for each decade; that remind me of great times celebrating royal occasions of the past.

Coronation Chicken is undoubtedly a dish for a royal occasion. Created for the Queen’s coronation by Rosemary Hume in 1952, the fruity chicken dish has stood the test of time as it’s still a popular choice today, making it the perfect sandwich filler for a Diamond Jubilee street party lunch.

I’d suggest following The Hairy Bikers Coronation Chicken recipes as it’s full of flavour with fresh mango, lemon and apricot jam.

Coronation chicken

Coronation Chicken

Years ago a royal celebration wouldn’t seem complete without a bowl of trifle. Traditional trifles would have a good slug of sherry and a sponge bottom with layers of fresh berries and plenty of custard and cream on top. Served in a deep glass dish, an old fashioned trifle would be the centre of any table display and a desert which I’d really looked forward too.

For a Diamond Jubilee edition why not serve trifle in individual pots and add red, white and blue sprinkles on top as featured in BBC Food’s recipe.


Jubilee Trifle

Even if you don’t follow the Royal Family throughout the year chances are that you’ll watch the Queen’s Speech on Christmas Day, which brings me to the traditional Roast Dinner.

Served weekly in a majority of households, roast dinners are a national treasure. It’s a meal which is enjoyed by all, and although the finer details of the meal may change from family to family the basics are always the same; a quality cut of British meat, fresh vegetables, fluffy potatoes and a generous serving of gravy.

If you enjoy a lamb roast read James Martin’s roast recipe with the trimmings.

roast dinner

Traditional Roast Dinner

Cream tea is wonderfully British and instantly reminds me of summer garden parties much like the one I attended a Buckingham Palace, which served a traditional cream tea of scones, clotted cream and jam with a cup of tea and finger sandwiches.

Homemade scones are easy to make and taste delicious. Try Delia Smith’s recipe for fruity jubilee scones.

cream tyea

Jubilee Cream Tea

During her reign the Queen has travelled across the globe and has tasted the world’s most delicious cuisine. During those 60 years foreign food has become incredibly popular amongst British families, many families now enjoy a variety of international curry dishes.

With the help of chefs like, Jamie Oliver and Anjum Anand, people are making authentic curries in their own homes. So why not spice up your Diamond Jubilee celebrations with a curry pot, Jamie Oliver’s Chicken Tikka Masala is mild enough for everyone to enjoy.


Spice up the Jubilee with a curry dish

Named after Queen Victoria, the only other monarch to have a Diamond Jubilee, Victoria Sponge is a traditional British cake which is easy to make and a favourite amongst The Women’s Institute.

I always enjoy a freshly baked slice of Victoria Sponge and I can’t think of a more appropriate occasion to indulge. Neither can I think of a better recipe to follow than Mary Berry’s ‘perfect’ Victoria sandwich. Enjoy!

victoria sponge

Victoria Sponge

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