No Gold State Coach!
Gah! It's my favourite carriage, and has been used at the two previous Jubilees, so why not make it a tradition and reuse it for this one? Seriously, HM arrived in a car. A CAR! And left in the modest 1902 State Landau. I yearn for those pictures of the Queen riding through narrow London streets in the magnificent gilded coach. Sigh...
Lack of Crowds
This really broke my heart and confused it as well. I'm not sure if they weren't allowed in certain areas, but some parts of the procession route were empty with no people, some with a scattering and some ten deep.
Scaled Down Royal Family
Whilst it was a symbolic sight, the mere six members of the Royal Family on the palace balcony didn't impress. I love all those huge family gatherings, where the balcony is packed with members. This appearance made it look empty and scarce, and failed to produce the magical effect seen at the Golden Jubilee. I don't know, maybe it was just the amazing canopy for the Golden Jubilee. And did anyone else notice the clear 'class' separation between Senior and Extended members of the family? Maybe it's a sign of things to come.
Now, enough of my ramblings, time to focus on the positive aspects of the day!
As the Queen left Buckingham Palace, without Prince Philip, the crowds started cheering wildly. I was impressed with Lady Farnham's (her lady-in-waiting) filling-in, and she did it with subtle grace. It was magical as HM arrived at St. Paul's, as cheers of 'God Save the Queen' were heard from the crowd. The fanfares signalled her arrival and then it was time to get things underway. A main feature of the service was the music, and I must say, I LOVE royal music. The processional, "Te Deum in G" was magnificent, and the hymns took my breath away. "Guide me O Thou Great Redeemer was particularly resounding- I didn't expect the trumpet start and the climax at the end.
The Queen wore and mint green embroidered Angela Kelly outfit, studded with a countless array of Swarovski crystals. I loved the chiffon drape flowing down her back- a lovely addition. The main highlight was the Cullian III and IV brooch she wore- shining like a beacon, and fitting for the Diamond Jubilee. The Duchess of Cambridge looked absolutely radiant in another Alexander McQueen outfit- very elegant indeed! Read orderofsplendor's very insightful glance into it's history.
After the service, the Queen was transported to Mansion House to attend a short reception, whilst other members of the family gathered at Guildhall. Both parties then combined at Westminster Hall for a luncheon, complete with fanfares and beautiful music. Then the day really started to shine, with a carriage procession to Buckingham Palace. Yay! Days of old! It was very interesting to see the Duchess of Cornwall ride next to the Queen, suggesting that they are growing closer.
Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie, The Princess Royal, The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall, Prince Edward, The Countess of Wessex and Lady Louise Windsor, Zara Philips
Prince and Princess Michael, The Duke and Duchess of Kent, The Duchess of Gloucester
condensed Royal Family gathered on the palace balcony, it was great to see the full love and adoration of the crowd shine through. The packed mall flooded me with nostalgia, and the Feu de Joie (rifle salute) was a lot of fun. A flypast, complete with a Red Arrows display was also conducted. My favourite moment was the three cheers for the Queen, when the crowd erupted in loud 'hoorays!'
Overall, a fabulous day to wrap up the Queen's Diamond Jubilee, and some rather interesting signs for the future!
Pictures: Daily Mail & The Telegraph