Saturday 14 May 2011

The laughing policeman, the railways, welsh gold, treason .. more Royal Wedding Day Memories– two weeks later ... part 3/3

The laughing, dancing policeman listening to 'his' crowds!

Memories are made of this ..  well I hope my rumblings on, two weeks after the event, will be looked at occasionally in the months, years to come – ever hopeful perhaps! 

I’m glad I waited as a few other fun aspects have come to light .. a letter to The Guardian by a staunch non-royalist and a humanist, who declared he had a confession to make ... “I really enjoyed and was moved by the royal wedding.  Kate looked fabulous and William is clearly a decent bloke.”  What a very British statement from an English man!

Where else in the world would you have thousands of people held at bay by a few policemen, with a British bobby in shirt sleeves, no gun, wandering down The Mall in front of Buckingham Palace ... taking the limelight, nearly going on one knee, half-tripping .. and expansively encouraging the crowds’ loud cheers and laughter at his antics ...

Cart-wheeling verger
Wonderful unexpected delights that will be the talking points for many a day ahead ... the cart-wheeling verger and his act of exuberance, .. the vaudeville policeman ... the soapless ring, the JU5T WED vintage Aston Martin ... unexpected headlines – many ... and the cartoons ... the cartoonists – witty and so clever ... Hubert Parry, the ‘unkown’ composer whose arrangements performed the soundtrack to the ceremony ...

... in fact Sir Hubert (1848 – 1918) was a musician and teacher, who has been rated as the finest English composer since Henry Purcell; he’s best known for the choral setting of William Blakes’ hymn “Jerusalem”, the Coronation anthem “I was glad” and the hymn tune “Repton”, which sets the words “Dear Lord and Father of Mankind” .. all pieces I’m sure we’re aware of.

Yeomen of the Guard in the procession to the
annual service of the Order of the Garter
at Windsor Castle.  (Yeomen were first
created in 1485 by Henry VII).

Peter Brookes’ cartoon in the Saturday Times ... portrayed the Yeomanry ‘march-dragging by his toes’ a poor commoner towards The Tower, because he didn’t watch  the wedding on tv!  Great take on a historical probability 500 years ago.

Organisation, the precision and attention to detail of this event puts to shame our railways ...   another letter, this time to The Independent, titled ‘Royal rail’ – wondering “if we could ask the people who organised the royal wedding to sort out our railways?” – our rolling stock is rather elderly .. we’ve been around a long time – seeing as ‘we invented’ the railways – and our country is a little... well little ...

Why do I look things up?  Ancient railways – well they only go back to the 6thC BC – that six km track ran across the Corinth isthmus in Greece for 600 years ... then along came wooden rails .. operated by human or animal power.  The world’s oldest working railway, built in 1758, is the Middleton Railway in Leeds ....... haven’t I heard that name somewhere else recently ... ?

The Collier, aquatint by Robert Havell 1814,
showing a Matthew Murray steam locomotive
(Salamanca) on the Middleton Railway.
Where was the soap?  I thought they might have needed some for the ring – and Kate’s finger by now presumably has recovered that very public ordeal of push and shove .. this circle of Welsh Gold IS going on that future Queen’s finger ... it did .. the Middletons now forever entwined with the Crown.

Then there was a title in The Sunday Telegraph’s Souvenir Supplement ... which says it all from another perspective ... “Despite some trepidation, the middle-class Middletons showed a grace and assurance that must have impressed their illustrious new in-laws” ... I think I’d concur here ...

The folder of newspaper
web offset printing press.
Also – I bet the print media is rubbing its hands with glee – so much print has been and will be bought ...  yes – the instantaneity of the net, but we all love pictures and glossy books ... certainly the Saturday and Sunday papers had a field day ..

The Princes have brought ‘the Firm’, as the Royal Family is known, into the 21st century ... and the Palace et al ... are using all the tools at their disposal vis a vis websites, Twitter and Facebook ... The Queen, who is 85, has been known to use and love technology gadgets .. and since seeing the Princes’ ipads, has asked for her own.  No point in living in the past is there!

On this day we saw that in Britain, love of country and the monarchy are still inextricably bound together ... Royalty give us “a permanent connection to the past, and a possibility of a future”.  It has been a rare opportunity – in a country with no national day – to participate, to put up the bunting, and share a moment in history.

Welsh gold dust and
gold nuggets
A miner’s great-great-granddaughter has married her Prince – fairy tales are made of this ... and the two are in love, as their happiness together shone through in this most intimate of weddings, that still was broadcast to the world ...  in what has been proclaimed by one and all as a very happy, successful day ...

Apart from many other snippets I’ve missed, two main component parts are missing .. the menus on the day ... food, food, glorious food – I thought that deserved a separate post ...

... and then the solemnity of the Service itself, the sermon, I thought I’d combine with this year's 400th anniversary of the King James Bible ...

. .. and after my mother’s antics on Thursday .. another post will be coming about discussions, laughter and hysterics from a hospital bed!

I suppose I could add a post on some of the statistics .. which would give a final (final?) rounding off ... or would that be too much?

Extra links etc:  

Fab Magazine .. has some lovely photos and short notes, as well as at the end  ... links to the dancing policeman and the cart-wheeling verger ....  see here

British Pathe – Royal Weddings Collection – many videos from 100 newsreels are available at this site.

View the official website of the British Monarchy and see the prominent centrally positioned Facebook link, as well as Twitter and Flickr links on the right.

You Tube via the the aptly-named Royal Channel - you can watch the whole wedding procession, ceremony, and more in this 3hour+ video ... 

PS - dear Blogger I do hope you're not going ill again any time soon ... 

Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories


Susan Scheid (Raining Acorns) said...

I believe this is one of the most entertaining post on the festivities I've read so far, and there is lots of competition for that slot, as you know. As for the Queen and her ipad, my mother, of about the same generation, was very pleased indeed that the Queen had joined her in owning one! On the subject of Sir Hubert and I was Glad, David Nice wrote a post that, if you haven't already read it, I think you'll enjoy this

Yes, let's hope Blogger stays "well." Makes you realize how sturdy it has been when something like that happens.

PS: Over at RA, we're about to fly off in different directions. Photographing Birds in Flight is the kick-off. Hope you'll drop by, if you haven't yet.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi RA .. that's great - many thanks!! Yes I know plenty of people wrote about the wedding .. I usually take a different route to things!

Good for your mother .. mine would love to be involved in this day and age too - if she wasn't stuck stroked in her bed .. she's so interested in the blog.

I have not been across to that post of David's .. I see not so keen on the Royals! But he does do some wonderful posts ..

Ok - I'll be over to see you flying off in all directions .. everyone's in my Reader - but it's all been so slow .. and crashing around our ears .. I gave up the unequal struggle and now have to catch up - fast!

Good to see and delighted with your comment .. Hilary

Bluestocking Mum said...

Thoroughly entertaining post Hilary!

As you probably know I'm a huge royalist and loved the Royal Wedding Day. It was truly memorable


LTM said...

poor little Kate's finger! Those boys just aren't very good at putting rings on... and you want it no to fall off, right??? :D I loved the wedding. Those guys were just perfect~ <3

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi BSM .. many thanks .. me too and I loved the day .. and the rerun in the evening - as I'd been doing a few things during the day itself .. it was good to just sit and watch quietly ...

Delighted you enjoyed the extras .. cheers Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Leigh .. I know - but can you put a ring on someone else's finger .. I'm not sure I'd like someone to try on mine - happy to do it myself and ease it over the knuckle - if it had of been me I'd have dropped the bouquet and got my right mitt out and aided and abetted that ring on .. still it did go didn't it!!

Nope, we certainly don't want it falling off .. I wonder whether the gratings were covered over ..

The red carpet was an afterthought - because it might have rained and perhaps the new Duchess might have slipped walking up the aisle .. so they had to hunt the carpet down - must have been fun?! Nervewracking ..

It was a perfect day .. for us all .. cheers Hilary

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

I love your posts, Hilary. You're my connection to the past. As children, I remember in our house the Queen was always referred to as "Our Queen." That was the one thing I had over my American cousins. And of course I pointed that out as often as I could.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Karen .. this is what you wrote - and I hope blogger really hasn't lost it - 'cept it tells me your comment no longer exists, but it does in my email inbox:

I very much enjoyed this report! Especially considering I didn't see any of the royal event myself. Altho someone did show me a brief clip of the bridegroom's bald spot. So what, he is still handsome and charming, bald spot and all.

Well if you need more info - there's plenty here .. you've had a lot on your plate .. and it's lovely seeing you here - thanks - Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Blogger has gone ill again?! Here's one of Karen's blogs ..

Her memoir sounds so interesting ..

Cheers Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Joylene .. well at least your comment hasn't gone AWOL ..

That's amazing .. and wonderful to hear about .. that makes absolute sense - Our Queen .. and the Americans definitely don't have one of those.

Interesting that my posts remind you of times past .. and you draw on forgotten memories .. isn't it great what blogging can do.

Lovely seeing you - cheers Hilary

Anonymous said...

Oh, Blogger better not go ill again! We would all miss your wonderful posts. So much time and effort you put into them.

History. British history. It's awesome. The stuff of fairy tales indeed.

Love that picture of a web offset printing press. the Yeomen of the Guard. So colorful. What excitement. I do love the tradition of it all. The Queen at 85 wanting an iPad. It is all JUST wonderful.

And I love your comments on my post. Thank you! I did have a good birthday yesterday. I tried to set up a WordPress blog. I'm determined especially should Blogger die. But I'm going to need help! It's not as user friendly as Blogger. What I'm doing is making sure I have yours and all my blogger friends emails should something permanent happen. There is always Facebook, so far. But blogging is great. Don't want to lose it.

Take care, dear friend. Enjoy your weekend.
Ann Best, Memoir Author

MunirGhiasuddin said...

Hello Hilary,
I hope that all is well with you and yours. I hope that my comment shows up on your blog, because on my latest entry all comments have disappeared for some reason.
Small world !! Your grandfather had been to Hyderabad ! Wow. It is a great city. When we moved out of there it was hard for people to find jobs and England gave my husband a job voucher in 1966 to start working and we got married in 1971 and I joined him in 1972 in Shrewsbury. For some reason it is very comforting to know that your grandpa has been to my birthplace!
I have been very busy, visiting my son in Philly. I will be going back again in the middle of June as my daughter in law's delivery due date is somewhere around that time. They have two little boys and I want to be there. I will write whenever I get a chance.
Cheers. Munir

vered said...

glad blogger is back up! That must have been frustrating. Thanks for another interesting post, Hilary.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Ann .. well it swallowed Karen's comment, when I tried to publish from gmail .. so now I go into comments on the blog .. and publish. I hope it doesn't cause any more challenges ..

Thanks for the complement .. we have so much history, which leads us so far back into the annals of time .. it's so rich - I love learning about it.

It's funny isn't it I put the odd picture in .. which seems to hit the right note - so delighted the printing press does that.

It's the fact that the elderly still want to learn .. keeps them vibrant and connects the generations .. good on the Queen - as you say.

Well done for wanting to set up a WP blog .. and making sure you've got everyone's details .. I certainly don't want to lose contact either ..

Enjoy your weekend .. with such a wonderful week ahead .. cheers Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Munir .. yes all well - and I did lose Karen's comment yesterday .. til til then only had the frustration of losing my comments on other blogs, as they were rejected .. irritating!!

Absolutely small world - the video is grainy black and white and I can't remember exactly what it showed ... large walls and cows! But I'm sure it's decipherable to a point - and the landscape would have changed dramatically in the last 100 years. I guess my grandfather must have visited a few times ..

I would think your time in Shrewsbury would be interesting coming from India in the early 70s .. then your move to New York.

Wonderful that you can get down to see your son and his family .. sounds like your daughter in law is under control for her 3rd child and your help will make things easier for them .. and the kids with love having their grandmother around ..

Enjoy your time - and thanks for coming by here .. cheers Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Vered .. good to see you .. yes - but still playing up is Mr Blogger ..

Glad you enjoyed it - I'm trying to catch my tail .. see you soon - cheers Hilary

Duncan D. Horne - the Kuantan blogger said...

What a great blog post, I enjoyed reading it.

I too hope blogger doesn't leave us in the cold again any time soon!

Duncan In Kuantan

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Duncan .. thanks .. great to read you enjoyed the post. I'm not so sure about blogger - having had my first comment swallowed .. Karen's - a little frustrating .. especially as it was all meant to be fixed!

Enjoy the week ahead .. cheers Hilary

Manzanita said...

Your London Town report on the wedding highlights is the best I've read. You seem to have the inside scoop and all the local color. Your blog is a delight to follow. Thank you.


Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Manzanita .. many thanks - I just pick snippets that amuse me and I know when I read some of the points to my mother - she'll enjoy them too and stimulate her so we can have some interaction .. she always comes up with interesting aspects!

Delighted to see you here and know that you enjoy the visits .. cheers Hilary

Talli Roland said...

I loved that policeman! It was so funny to watch him interact with the crowd.

What a fantastic day. I feel like I'm reliving it again through your posts, Hilary - fantastic!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Talli .. thanks - just the fun things that happen on big occasions - as you say everyone just joined in and had lots of fun.

Now you're British through and through .. it's ours to share!! Great to see you - enjoy today .. cold down here! Cheers Hilary

Roland D. Yeomans said...

The Royal Wedding was all the buzz here as well. But I came here from Ann's blog when I found out that the 13th is your birthday as well as hers.

So ...


May Blogger's present to you be never going down again, Roland

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Roland .. did you enjoy the Wedding .. my take on it .. is straggling on!

Ah - misinterpretation may be Gypsy gotta hold of it .. and said hey I remember .. that was back in them cold days of January .. on St Hilary's Day .. yes tis true! However I have another friend whose birthday is the same day as Ann's - 13ths are good days!!

So pleased you dropped in - my bug and my immediate reaction to unsubscribing left right and centre in early April has caused me to eliminate some friends .. and I haven't sorted my hamhandedness out yet .. so now I can subscribe again .. and come over and say 'hi' .. delighted to see you ..

and exactly I think that applies to everyone .. - even Bloggers blog administrators apparently - so let's hope it's fixed for ...'life' .. cheers and have a good week ahead ... Hilary

quilthexle said...

Thanks for re-telling the little side-stories of this fairy tale! Unfortunately I had to work on wedding day, but I did enjoy pictures and posts on the internet. Thanks for adding some more smiles for me to this "love story of the century"!

Rosalind Adam said...

If ipads are good enough for Her then they're good enough for me. I'm definitely going to get one now. I hadn't realised there was so much fun to be had from that wedding. Looking forward to the food.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Frauke ... glad you enjoyed the side stories - what a pity you had to work .. the photos and films have been quite beautiful.

Thanks it's been fun writing these extra posts - it was a smiling day wasn't it .. and your phrase 'the love story of the century' certainly seems to ring true.

Enjoy the week ahead .. Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Ros .. I agree if the Queen can have one - I'd like one too .. it's always the behind the scenes extras or the befores and afters .. added to by the ease with which these things can be 'put out there' .. mobile phones and internet etc ..

Food coming up .. enjoy your week .. we could do with some rain down here .. getting desperate - cheers Hilary

TALON said...

It's lovely to have happy and positive things to reflect on even in the midst of turmoil. I bought a glossy magazine of the wedding day for my Mom. She's British by birth and she loves all things Royal. :)

I hear it was your birthday, Hilary. Happy Birthday! I hope it was a beautiful day!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Talon .. you're so right - we need something good - amazing how the negative always seem to swamp the good news. How wonderful - I bet your Mama enjoyed it and will continue to do so ..

You heard a Chinese whisper .. I am on the 13th .. but in January! But always happy to have an extra one - like the Queen perhaps?!

Everyday is beautiful .. especialy seeing your wonderful flora and fauna banners and photos .. cheers Hilary

Anonymous said...

Very entertaining post. Hubby is a great railway buff.

In answer to your question as the email came no-reply blogger. I'm fine except the medication made me go from hyper to hypo and so I've been taken off it since Friday and am now experiencing some of the old symptoms. Awaiting blood test results... :O)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Madeleine .. ah! someone who picked up the railway bit! I think one of my mother's brother was a great railway fan as a kid .. but one was killed in the war and the other went off to Rhodesia. We just used them!

I hope you can get things sorted going from the -er to the -o can't be too easy and I hope the blood tests give you some answers .. look after yourself - with thoughts Hilary

Unknown said...

I haven't commented much but I have loved reading your commentary on the Royal festivities. Lovely!

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Hilary -

I've enjoyed these posts so much. From a cultural standpoint, I like getting a British person's view of the event.

Susan :)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Clarissa .. no worries - just delighted to hear you're enjoying my royal running-commentary - it is a bit like that isn't it ..?! Thanks so much .. cheers Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Susan .. good to know - it's always interesting to get other perspectives .. and my natterings along the way!

You too have a peaceful blessed week .. thanks for coming by - Hilary

Anonymous said...

Aren't those Yoemen on the bottles of Beefeater Gin? And I wonder how the came up with the name Beefeater for gin? Well, I guess that's a blog for another day. Does the Queen Tweet on Twitter? Maybe she does. I'll have to check it out.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Stephen .. absolutely spot on - Yeoman of the Warders (to be correct!), popularly known as Beefeaters ...

Thanks for the tip for another blog - I think that's right it will be another day ..

I suspect the Royal THEY will tweet .. but I'd be interested to hear .. I haven't checked ..

Good to see you - cheers Hilary

Deborah Ann said...

You really added zest and life to an already spectacular occasion. William and Kate would be proud!

Anonymous said...

Wonderful post, as always!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Deborah .. many thanks .. zest is what I need and if they're proud of little me - that's great! Hopefully they're just having a good time and being themselves for the short time allowed ahead of them - fairly daunting decision she had to make - even for love ... ?1?1 .. cheers Hilary

Golden Eagle said...

I really enjoyed reading your thoughts on the royal wedding. :)

I hope there are no more problems with Blogger, too. The recent shutdown scared me . . .

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Suzanne .. glad you enjoyed it .. lovely to see you .. cheers Hilary

Karen Lange said...

Oh yes, what an adventure with Blogger last week! Glad to be done with that. :) You know, you have a way of making things so interesting with your photos and commentary. I bet you would make a great history teacher - making things come alive for young students. Okay, older ones too, like me!
Have a good week,

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Golden Eagle - hope you resolve your hero's name .. and don't drug him! Delighted you had a brief interlude to enjoy my notes on the Wedding .. it was fun and I hope you got to watch.

It was a little scary - but I hope they can keep us up and running safely in the future .. cheers and have a good week .. Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Karen .. yes - I just 'withdrew' and did a few other things .. hoping they'd resolve the issues - though I think I'll be following Talli's route of making sure I have everything backed up properly.

Thanks so much .. just me wittering on! but I do like putting in different photos and as you say bringing the posts to life - it amuses me and certainly kept my mother entertained, and still does sometimes.

Really appreciate your comment .. and love having blogging friends joining me in my quest on a different approach to history ..

You too enjoy the week - cheers Hilary

Theresa Milstein said...

Blogger being down was such a pain! All of the lovely comments people left still haven't returned. I wonder if they ever will.

Being in America, it's interesting to see how much the royal wedding meant to Great Britain. And even more interesting to see how caught up Americans got. We have no equivalent.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Theresa .. blogger was a pain as you say - and everyone's hard work moving around the blogs leaving comments and then they whoosh-bam disappear forever .. and they did say they'd restore comments .. looks less likely by the day - at least the blogs are back ..

Well it certainly meant a lot to me - but I wasn't immersed, as some were - I love that sort of history, and pageantry .. so I'm quite glad the take-outs are getting posted here ..

... we'd heard the Americans were besides themselves waiting for the event .. and we're much more animated about it .. as you say you have no equivalent.

I wonder at the attention William and Kate will get when they visit Canada, and then the West Coast - in a couple of weeks time .. we shall see ...

Cheers and enjoy the rest of the week .. Hilary