June is always the busiest month of the royal year and in 2022 even more so because of the celebrations surrounding Her Majesty’s historic platinum jubilee. Everyone wants to know what exactly is going to happen during the celebrations and the answer is only the organisers know everything. Even then, there is always an element of surprise.
The Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant to mark the 60th anniversary of the Queen’s accession was a brilliant idea but the unexpected cold weather, torrential rain and high winds almost caused it to be washed out. I was on board the museum ship HMS Belfast moored near Tower Bridge and even wearing a thick winter coat I was cold. But despite the dreadful weather the event was magnificent and because of the pouring rain that soaked both guests and performers the celebration was all the more memorable. Unfortunately, Prince Philip caught an infection and had to be taken to hospital, missing the concert at Buckingham Palace, the service of thanksgiving and the grand finale.
Because her mobility varies from day to day, the 96-year-old Queen’s presence at many of the celebrations will not be confirmed until the last moment. Of course, she will do her very best to be at all the events if she possibly can, as she knows they have been designed around her. Sadly, for all of us, Her Majesty’s big Classic hope Reach for the Moon has been withdrawn from the Derby, as have her two other possibilities, Educator and General Idea. It is disappointing that the Queen won’t have a runner in the Derby, but hopefully she will have one in another race on the day.
There will certainly be a large presence of the Queen’s grandchildren and great-grandchildren at the jubilee events and last month delightful photographs of one of them –Princess Charlotte – were released by Kensington Palace for her seventh birthday, once again taken by her mother the Duchess of Cambridge. There have been constant rumours that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are going to move to the Windsor area. They have allegedly been looking at properties in the private Home Park, including Adelaide Cottage which was given to the late Group Captain Peter Townsend and his wife Rosemary as a grace and favour residence when he became part of King George VI’s staff in 1944.
The Cambridges have excellent schooling choices in the area, half a dozen of them co-educational, including Lambrook in Winkfield Row. All of their children could attend this independent school, which would remove the need for three separate security operations in different parts of the county and be less of a burden to the taxpayer.
The Duchess of Cornwall, meanwhile, has agreed to be on the cover of British Vogue in celebration of her 75th birthday in July. I am certain she took a great deal of persuasion to do this and agreed only if she could talk about her charities and thus bring attention to them. Camilla does not enjoy being centre stage although she has had to get used to it since joining the royal family in 2005 and being thrust into the spotlight ever since. Both the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall will be very much centre stage at the platinum jubilee to support Her Majesty in whatever way they can, ably assisted by the rest of the family.