Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II is celebrating 60 years on the throne this month, which is an incredible achievement. The country seems to have gone mad planning endless street parties and displaying flags in support of their long-reigning monarch. At school, my kids have been dressing up like the Queen, her guards and the like, and basically talking non-stop about the Royal family, which is really rather lovely and quite special.
As an American living in England, I find all of this fuss completely enchanting. I love the sight of bunting everywhere I look (but then again I am quite partial to bunting for any occasion or no occasion at all….bunting just makes me smile and I’m not ashamed to admit it!). I love planning large community-centered events where everyone brings yummy cakes and is asked to don red, white and blue. I love the tv specials showing old footage of the Queen’s Coronation. Rain or shine, I am so happy to have been a part of celebrating the Diamond Jubilee.
So, how, I hear you asking, did I celebrate? Well, the children had a perfectly wonderful picnic one week before the official celebrations at their school. Fortunately the weather was gorgeous and we were able to enjoy bright sunshine, an outdoor picnic, maypole dancing, and games for the kids. The children also displayed lots of artwork inside the school and each of my children made a canvas using a photo of the Queen’s face and then decorating her dress with beads and all manner of sparkly accoutrements which we were able to bring home. Each child at the school was given a personalized mug with the Queen’s Picture and the date of the Jubilee, which is something I hope they will keep forever and will serve as a memory of the day. All in all a wonderful experience.
On the Sunday of the Jubilee weekend street parties were planned throughout the country. Unfortunately the weather did not cooperate and it was really rather grim and cold. Despite the weather, our lovely little village hosted an indoor party in our newly renovated village hall, complete with bunting (yay!), a life size cut out of the Queen herself, numerous hampers and picnic baskets filled to bursting with delicious food, drink and fun. I made a particularly delicious chicken salad and I’ve included the recipe at the end of this post if you’re interested in trying it. My son managed to fall asleep during the festivities while my daughter took the spotlight twirling about in her Union flag dress and loving every minute of it (they are, as they have always been, such different personalities). It was also an extra special day, as my good friend Paulie was visiting us from Hawaii (hooray!).
Rain or shine I thoroughly enjoyed the entire Jubilee experience. 🙂
Meg’s Diamond Jubilee Chicken Salad
Place into a large bowl:
4 cups cubed (cooked) chicken
1 cup seedless grapes
1 (8oz) tin crushed pineapple
1 cup celery, finely cut
1 cup mayonnaise
1 T lemon juice
3 t curry powder
1 T soy sauce
Mix and chill.
Serve topped with 1/2 cup toasted sliced almonds! 🙂