Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Tonight I'm Going To Party Like It's 1897

Unless you've been avoiding all manner of media, don't live in the United Kingdom, or have been asleep recently, you can't have missed the almighty royalty kitsch-fest that is the Diamond Jubilee.  It seems to have kicked off what is promised (or threatened) to be an Union Jack-tastic summer, what with the Olympics and stuff.  Unlike the Olympics, the Jubilee can be nicely audience participation, so I find I thoroughly approve.  I have especially loved cooking some of the recipes invented for the occasion, especially the 'Elizabeth Sponge' fairy cakes (thanks to Waitrose Weekend paper this weekend)...

There were twelve...

It's basically a normal vanilla fairy cake but with a strawberry jam depth-charge inside it.  Anyway, while treasuring my Diamond Jubilee Marmite, sorry Ma'amite, I began to wonder about Queen Victoria and her Diamond Jubes.

Queue wobbly time-travel pondering....

Queen Victoria, looking Jubilicious
A Diamond Jubilee is celebrated on the 75th anniversary.  Hang about, surely we're celebrating it on the 60th?  We have Queen Victoria to thank for this.  On 23rd September 1896, she had reigned longer than her grandfather George III, up to that point the longest reigning monarch.  It was suggested that a public celebration should be arranged, to encourage public affection after her controversial shunning of public duties following Albert's death in 1861, but it was agreed to put it off until the following year, her 60th year as Queen.  In order to make this an extra special event, the term 'Diamond' was applied (because it was unlikely that she would make it to 75 years).

Starting on 20th June, Queen Victoria kicked of a right royal summer of fun, going here there and everywhere and generally having a big party.  Over the 20th and 21st June, events were focused on London, where she held a royal banquet, rode in a procession to Westminster Abbey and made an appearance on the balcony at Buckingham Palace.  Ring any bells?

For her Jubilee Ezra Read published 'The Longest Reign' Waltz (which really sounds not so much romantic, but rather an endurance trial), the Bishop of Wakefield wrote the hymn 'O King of Kings' which Arthur Sullivan set to music, and the poet laureate Alfred Austin (or 'Not Tennyson' as he was known to his friends) wrote 'Victoria' which contains the lines...

'They placed a Crown upon her fair young brow,
They put a Sceptre in her girlish hand,
Saying, ``Behold! You are Sovereign Lady now
Of this great Land!'''

...and some stuff about partridges. It's quite long, I warn you now, but if you fancy a bit of light reading, you can view it here.  

In many ways, reading about the 1897 Jubilee is very similar to what has been going on this weekend.  Queen Victoria gave everyone the Tuesday off, even in the colonies, so that everyone could have the day to celebrate.  And the memorabilia, oh, the memorabilia....

You can have a mug....

You can have some silverware...
You can have a very classy stoneware jug from Spode...

Sadly, nothing with corgis on it, unlike this year where the corgi seems to be the symbol of the Jubilee.

In 1897, Victoria was only 78 years old, rather than 86 years old which our current Queen is, and was in poor health.  She attended a service at St Paul's Cathedral, but could hardly walk, let alone climb the steps, so they brought the service out to her and she remained in her carriage.  She reigned another three years and seven months and was the nations longest reigning monarch and the longest reigning female monarch in world history.  So Queen Betty needs to do another three and a bit years until she takes the title.  

I feel another party coming on...


  1. The cake looks delish. We call them cupcakes here and personally I think fairy cakes sounds much more appealing - like I could eat two or three and since they were fairy cakes they wouldn't weight anything. Here you eat three and it's three cups of cakes. Much heavier.

    Happy holidays! I cannot wait for the Olympics. :)

  2. I get told off by my American colleagues at work if I call my cakes 'cupcakes' and so I have to call them fairy cakes (even though they contain very little in the way of fairy), but I notice that fairy cake cases are smaller than cupcake cases, which is annoying.

    Hmmm, the Olympics...it's a tricky one as I work in the Heritage sector which has been really badly hit over the last couple of years to fund the Olympics. I am for the athletes, they are all splendid, but I wish it didn't cost so much. I only wish they had insisted some good old Cotswold Olympic sports were included. Shin-kicking, anyone?

  3. I love that you call them fairy cakes and think there should always be more things with Corgis on them.

  4. The worst thing you can do is enter a shop and say to the shop assistant "she's about your size". Trust me, it really isn't that simple!
    That wasn't too difficult was it?
    So, now you have managed to establish her Size, we will move on to the Style.
    Pirate & Witch
    Sexy Bride

    Now this is where it can get a little messy and go completely wrong, hence why I said, think with your head and not your manhood! I am not saying all men do, but some men do tend to become a little over enthusiastic when viewing Lingerie and photos of attractive women in skimpy outfits.
    So, first and foremost, don’t get over enthusiastic and let your mind run away with it self. It is vital that you purchase a piece of lingerie that your lady will feel comfortable wearing rather than what you would like (especially if it’s a garment you are introducing within the bedroom) otherwise it will be thrown back at you, put in her bottom drawer or worst still, in the bin!
    If she is self-conscious about a certain part of her body, then please bear this in mind. Babydolls and Chemises are great for covering up the tummy and waistline and still look sexy and feminine, plus they are a lot easier to guess with sizing, should it be a last minute gift. Also bear in mind what colour she normally wears and try and match it (We will discuss colours in the next section). Hopefully you will have made a mental note of the colour together with the style of bra, pants or thong etc, when you were looking in her drawer. Try and make a mental note of the bra; is it slightly padded? Is it an underwiring cup? As for the Briefs, if you didn't spot any thongs, then I suggest you stay well away from them because not every woman likes wearing them and instead, opt for a normal pair of pants.
    Maid costumes
    Fairy Tales


Many thanks for your comment. I shall post it up shortly! Kx