This is Queen’s Birthday Weekend, which is celebrated every June in New Zealand, but this Diamond Jubilee Year more lavishly than ever. Smith & Caughey’s department store was serving high tea in the cafe at their Queen Street, Auckland location and there are other festivities taking place in the city’s Viaduct Harbour area.
I’ve always liked “the royals”. When I was 5 years old, I remember my mother taking me to see the Queen when she visited Guelph, Ontario, Canada (King George IV was from House of Guelph lineage and was the monarch when the city of Guelph was named). We grew up listening to the Queen’s message every Christmas Day and my mother even used to tell me that she was the same age as the Queen (although she was several years older!)
In the mid-late 70s, I met Prince Phillip in Saudi Arabia and we chatted about what I, as a Canadian, was doing there. My enduring memory of our meeting was not our conversation, but my surprise at seeing him in a suit jacket which was very worn around the collar! I managed to get some very close up photos of him as he toured the campus of the University of Petroleum & Minerals. The Queen visited the kingdom within the next couple of years, but I only saw her from afar as she watched a camel race with the Saudi monarch.
Then in the 80s, like millions of others, I watched as Prince Charles married Lady Diana Spencer. In fact, the Saudi (ARAMCO) Oil Company, where I worked at the time, gave all Canadian staff the day off to watch the ceremony! For years, I was part of Diana mania – even standing for several hours in the freezing cold to watch her arrive to the opening of the Prince of Tides film in Leicester Square in London. My wait was worth it because she stepped out of her vehicle right in front of me! While touring France, I even set a day aside from sightseeing to watch Prince Andrew marry Sarah Ferguson.
Mr. Boomerlifetoday has also “connected” with royalty. He has lunched with Her Majesty (albeit with about 500 others!) at a school in England and was on The Mall the day Prince Charles married Diana. He saw Charles again on one of his visits to New Zealand and has met and chatted with Prince and Princess Michael of Kent, when they visited the school where he was working in Saudi Arabia.
So we’ve done quite well, really. Now, we just need to get invitations to the Queen’s Garden party at Buckingham Palace (on my bucket list of things to do)!
Are you a royalist? What are you doing to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee?
Until next time,
Your Boomer Life Partners