The highlight of the Queen’s official 90th birthday celebrations will take place this weekend and many of our readers might be travelling to London to witness it or even take part. If so, we hope you enjoy it.
You’ll be taking part in a uniquely British event and one that’s been organised in a uniquely British way, because the organisers, led by the Queen’s grandson, Peter Phillips, are planning to give each guest attending the Patrons’ Lunch, a plastic rain poncho and some sun cream.
As an example of ‘belt and braces’ this idea could hardly be bettered and is due to the vagaries of the British weather, as the forecast for the weekend (unfortunately but not surprisingly) includes a 50% chance of rain.
This struck us – and probably any foreign readers of our blog – as a tremendous example of both rigorous forward planning and wackiness in equal measure.
But as countless photos of holidaymakers sheltering from the rain in seaside resorts will tell you, we Brits will not let a few drops of rain deter us from having a picnic. in fact, over 10,000 well-wishers are expected to join her Majesty and, if needed, eat soggy sandwiches.
The organisers insist that, whatever the weather, the party will go ahead. Through their stiff upper lips, they told the Daily Mail: “The British people have a unique sense of humour and, we are sure, will take the conditions in their stride”.
What they are really saying, of course, is, ‘we expect people to turn out even if it’s torrential”. And rightly so. Party goers will be treated to seeing the annual Trooping of the Colour on the Saturday in Horse Guards as well as an RAF flypast over Buckingham Palace.
Sunday’s Patrons Lunch is to celebrate the Queen’s links with over 600 charities and organisations. Many have resented paying the £150 a head entry ticket (especially to attend a not-for-profit event), but the event is still sold-out and the entry price does include the rain poncho and the sun cream.
And with the odds of copping a shower at 50:50, the chances are they’ll get an opportunity to use both at some point in the day.