Friday, July 18, 2008

Queen's Garden Party: Sounds

Of course, the party doesn't really start until HM gets there. Her arrival is heralded by the playing of the national anthem, which sounds like this. (Although, I feel like I've been told there is no official national anthem -- anyone care to comment on that?)

Other tunes wafting gently through the breeze at Buckingham included swing classic Sing Sing Sing and an Elton John medley (Candle in the Wind was carefully excluded, as well as The Bitch is Back, but we did get to hear Can You Feel the Love Tonight and Crocodile Rock). Who says bands wearing big plumed hats aren't cool?

And then there are the comments I overheard. One of the Queen's good subjects was telling anyone who would listen that last year, HM had asked her whether she'd had tea yet, and was the tea "stewed." "I don't like stewed tea," HM allegedly told this lady. So should you ever have the Queen to tea, for the love of Earl Grey, don't stew it! Another lady commented on how lovely the Queen's outfit was (this was true IMHO) and how "sensible" her shoes were. Surely, my choice of low heels was ill-advised. "Her lawn will be nice and aerated," said another woman.

The best overheard bit, however, had to be the instructions people receive before they are presented to the Queen. (One does not meet HM; they are presented to her.) People are pre-selected for this honor, and while the rabble like me line her path hoping to get a glimpse, these folks get to speak directly with HM. An usher in a top hat interviews them beforehand to find out something interesting to tell the Queen, and gives them this advice: She is Your Majesty on first reference, and ma'am thereafter. Gents should nod upon being presented, while ladies should curtsy ("just a jiggle" the lady nearest me was told). When we asked a woman with a fabulous hat who these usher-like people were, she said, "Oh, they'll all be back to polishing the silver after this."

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Blogger Smitty Werbenmanjensen said...

Who says bands wearing big plumed hats aren't cool?

Um, you?

10:16 AM  
Blogger Schmutz said...

I've been wondering: what kind of lottery did you win? Did you go by yourself (I take it that Smitty didn't attend with you)? Were you given a dress code? Where did you get that gorgeous hat?

11:51 AM  
Anonymous Andrew said...

Re national anthems:
I think you may be mixing up England and Britain. God Save Queenie is the British national anthem. England doesn't officially have one. Wales does(Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau - Land of my fathers - and it's a belter)and Scotland thinks it does (Flower of Scotland)but no one agrees with them.

9:33 PM  
Blogger Kevboy said...

That anthem sounds EXACTLY like "My Country Tis of Thee" by Samuel Francis Smith. I guess he wrote it that way to irk the Brits.

3:14 PM  

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