It was like Christmas. I was just as excited, preparing for weeks. Popping into M&S on a regular basis for biscuit tins. Looking up recipes, buying special food, sending last minute texts to friends with panicked requests for slivered almonds. Doing an extra Ocado order, with booze I’d never normally drink, pretty paper straws, buckets of sweets, fancy crisps and the ingredients for pavlova. Making plans, trying to squeeze in as many visits from friends and family as possible. Organising a party with our neighbours. Setting the Sky box to record a slew of commemorative programmes. Festooning our house with decorations, and watching with excitement as London turned red, white and blue.
And did it live up to the hype? To my feverish, childish excitement? Yes it did. Every last minute of it.
From the spontaneous rendition of the National Anthem, accompanied by a waving a sea of flags in a faintly icy Battersea Park, as we watched the Queen on a huge screen, metres from the river, to cosying up on the sofa, Dubonnet in hand, fire in grate, rain pelting down outside, watching the highlights on TV and not really minding that the street party was a wash out.
It was a weekend full of friends and family, a thing of joy whatever the occasion. We feasted on special TV and special food. We watched red, white and blue flypasts and listened to spectacular fireworks echoing round the city. We overheard people saying “it’s not that cold really” as they huddled in their union jack pac-a-macs, clutching thermoses of tea. We helped my brother write his top 20 Jubilee moments feature, whilst watching a flinty David Starkey weep with emotion on live TV. We scooted through the crowds of people enjoying our beautiful, flag-bedecked city and watched it sparkle on TV like the Peter Pan ride at Disneyland. I was proud to be a Londoner.
Thank you Your Majesty.