Sunday, 10 June 2012

Happy Birthday Prince Philip - hard work, discipline, goldfish bowl ... flooding ...

Thankfully the Duke of Edinburgh came out of hospital yesterday looking fairly ‘chipper’ ... and was as ascerbic as ever ... on being asked if he was better “well I’d still be in there, if I wasn’t” ...
The Duke of Edinburgh having a happy exchange

Congratulations to Prince Philip and it will be lovely for the family to be able to celebrate his 91st birthday at ‘home’ – Windsor Castle, I imagine.

June: Sweet Williams
They are never out of the spotlight, always on show, always ready for ‘us’ to criticise without fully understanding or appreciating the implications of life in a goldfish bowl.

They are a normal couple, who have given of themselves in exemplary fashion, for all their married life – now 64 years ... how many of us – husbands/wives/sons/daughters would have continued on as the Queen has done, while their next of kin was in hospital.  I know I wouldn’t – I’d have been visiting ...
Jubilee portrait

Right from her Accession the Queen and Prince Philip have set exceptionally high standards – they can have no spontaneity, but just get on with each day as it’s been programmed out ...

... the Queen continued on with engagements on the days after the Jubilee weekend  ... we would expect nothing else of this humble, uncomplaining woman.

The enjoy the party - but feel the cold and wet!
The Jubilee also showed the nation at its best ... so many volunteered for their roles in setting up the various events ... it was a people’s jubilee too – many of us just took advantage and watched, many braved the weather and crowds to visit ...

Irises - much beloved by my mother

... the street flower seller I use to buy my mother’s flowers, said he’d been ‘told’ by his wife to take their daughter to London for the Pageant ...

... and said laughingly 'they’d seen nothing', yet had fun joining in with everyone in their celebrations ... but their daughter will remember the experience for ever.

We haven’t had a River Pageant since King Charles II and Queen Catherine of Braganza were feted in 1662, which Samuel Pepys and John Evelyn both recorded the scene in their diaries.

Putting her feet up?? – on Wednesday she had a formal lunch for the Commonwealth Heads of State, then visited "her DH" in hospital, then back no doubt for the Red Box with its government papers (that she does every day) ... I bet she wished she could put her feet up now ...

Today I wish them a very happy weekend together – I’m sure the Queen and her family will attend a Service of Thanksgiving at St George’s Chapel, Windsor for the Duke’s birthday.

Sandringham House circa 1880

The Show Goes On ... and never stops ... there’s a Garden Party at Sandringham, Norfolk on Tuesday ...

British Roses in June

Now to floods – thankfully the Jubilee wasn’t held this weekend ... as the Pageant wouldn’t have happened ... the wind and rain have been awful ... unfortunately the worst of the weather hit ...... Borth – remember that name?

This time it was five inches of rain in the valleys, which caused a torrent  of water to rush down ... deluging the town of Borth (Uppingham-by-Sea) and surrounding areas ... elderly (80s+) residents said they’d never experienced anything like it.

Borth Lifeboat
Water is a danger ... especially when we’ve been in drought conditions here in the south east, yet surges of it can gather so quickly – even the river-lifeboat got into difficulties – and their crew had to be airlifted to safety.

They didn’t experience a storm surge – but I’m sure the seas must have been exceptionally rough, with the gale force winds added to the challenges for rescue on the land.

Many Congratulations to a wonderful 91 year old, who has been a constant source of support to his spouse, our Queen, throughout their long marriage ...
Martha Washington
+/- 1760

... the Queen’s words wistfully spoken to Prince William “I wish Philip were here” ... as she appeared to blink back tears on the balcony at the flypast on Tuesday.

He is her rock, as the Queen is Prince Philip’s rock ... together they are invincible ... may he get back his full strength and may they continue to enjoy their latter years together – and, lest we forget, in conjunction with all their royal duties and the demands made on them.

Honesuckle - so beloved by my mother
Many thanks for all your wishes for my mother – she is always amazed to hear that blogging friends from around the world remember her!

I showed my mother some of the Jubilee photos and reminded her of Prince William’s wedding last year ... she seemed to remember ... and I’ll read her these posts – she still takes an interest and it’s lovely to see her eyes light up.

Moving a school from Uppingham to Borth in 1876 - the posts about Borth

Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories


Jo said...

So glad to hear Prince Philip is out of hospital especially after what I had read and reported. I agree they are a wonderful couple doing a fantastic job.

They are having floods in the States this weekend too - we have been having drought conditions in both Canada and the States.

Glad your mother enjoys reading some of the things you and your commenters write.

Unknown said...

Well, I am glad you were able to share with your mother the Jubilee photos. And yes, we do care about her.

Also happy that Prince Philip is out and doing well.

D.G. Hudson said...

I like irises and honeysuckles. I like your commentary on the royal events, too. And, I'm a fan of Elizabeth.

I grew up with the smell of honeysuckle in the backyard. After I'd been away a few years and came back for a visit, what greeted me? The smell of honeysuckle.

Re your mom - it's those little moments of lucidity that our parents exhibit which keep us going. BTW - your weather sounds like ours - erratic.

Golden Eagle said...

It's good to hear Prince Philip is out of the hospital!

Wonderful that you read your mother your blog posts. :)

Rosaria Williams said...

You're our very own reporter of all things British! This is such a treat for all of us. Thank you.

Diane said...

My father-in-Law turned 91 a couple of weeks ago and he is just as active as Prince Philip. It amazes me what they are still capable of at 91. FIL still lives on his own and copes very well he is a great cook.

I was Happy to see that Prince Philip was out of hospital in time to celebrate. great post as always. Diane

Susan Scheid said...

Many striking things about this post--here is one that surprised me:
"We haven’t had a River Pageant since King Charles II and Queen Catherine of Braganza were feted in 1662." Amazing to think how rare an event. I wouldn't have thought that.

Very sorry to hear about this spate of terrible weather. And, indeed, I do remember Borth from that incredible tale you told us about. Weather everywhere seems to have gone from unpredictable to unfathomable, hasn't it?

Informative post, as always, and BTW, should you come over my way, I have dedicated the post up just now to you and your mother, with a link back to your Castles A to Z.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Jo .. it's that dreaded jet stream .. it's in the wrong place again!

But I'm pleased the Prince is enjoying his birthday with the family ..

Yes I read to her or talk to her about things that are going on .. when she's with it enough ..

@ Clarissa - thanks so much .. my mother has always been so chuffed that bloggers know who she is! It's good about the Prince isn't it ..

@ DG - the photos were lovely and fitted in with the colours and general cheer we're feeling - even if the weather is knocking us about somewhat. Honeysuckle is just delicious smelling isn't it - feeling you're back home with its scent - I can believe that.

Yes - that ability to bring herself to .. and enjoy our company occasionally is wonderful ..

@ Golden Eagle .. yes Prince Philip is good news .. and my mother enjoys hearing about the blog and comments ..

@ Rosaria - that's a lovely compliment - many thanks! Plenty more to follow ...

@ Diane - so pleased for Nigel and for his father .. my 'aunt' who just died was 95 and was doing her own thing til that moment. Good to know that your FIL is coping so well ..

It is good news re Prince Philip - I loved your French meet up with bloggers from around the world .. amazing lunch you had ..

@ Susan - thanks so much for the link .. Cardiff Castle was not what I expect I must say .. I'll have to visit sometime ..

I think it is incredibly rare - and one this size (1,000 + boats) .. I doubt will be done again for centuries to come .. you need something to do it for!

It must have been incredibly hard work planning all the Jubilee events .. and we have the Olympics shortly?!

The weather is just terrible - they've evacuated a village in the Welsh hills for fear of a dam bursting .. and it's drizzle-rained here all day .. quite soaky now!! As I type it starts proper raining!

Delighted you enjoyed the post - I'm coming back to read yours I need to concentrate properly .. and I must start listening to the music you provide too ..

Cheers everyone from a very grotty wet Sunday night!? - Hilary

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

We can't imagine a life like that, but as with any great leader, she stays the course.

Old Kitty said...

I went to work today prepared for the expected deluge predicted to arrive at 4 pm today. Instead it was quite warm, dry and sunny! LOL!! Yay!!!

Prince Philip and the Queen are a match made in heaven! They really were meant for each other! Awww!

Take care

Heather Murphy said...

I'm glad to hear he is back "home" and doing better. And I think it is great that you are sharing this with your mother too

Chuck said...

How amazing that they both have lived and ruled so long. He looks pretty good for 91! I have to tell you, that the Queen has done more partying than I possibly could have been up to these last two weeks. Maybe that is her secret for ruling this long...stay active and don't give time a chance to catch you. I sure hope the weather gets a little better before the Open golf tournament next's at Royal Lytham and St. Annes. Cheers Hilary!

Luanne G. Smith said...

So sorry to hear about the terrible weather and flooding. We're dealing with forest fires here.

And I LOVE those dog sweaters! What a fun celebration it must have been. Even though I'm not crazy about huge crowds like that, I'll bet it was fun for people just to say they were there and a part of it.

klahanie said...

Hi Hilary,
Indeed, cannot be easy being under the glare of the media and public scrutiny. I know I struggle with it. Okay, I was kidding about me.
Seriously, despite my own mixed feelings about the whole Royal extravaganza, I wish them well and the birthday fellow can now go on and continue to bemuse folks with his rather strangely humorous quips.
I have friends who live in Ceredigion, Wales. Thankfully, they were left rather unscathed from the floods.
Wishing you and your mother, well.
Enjoy your week.
Cheers, Gary

A Lady's Life said...

Lovely post Hilary.
We love the Queen and wish her and her husband a long reign. We felt sorry she had to carry on, on her own.This was a time Philip should have been there. He would have loved it.
We are glad your Mom is enjoying the festivities. She is so lucky to have such a nice daughter to watch over her.
I watched my Mom till the end and I don't regret it at all.She left us with many memories.

Floods are scary.
We have been having a lot of rain and threats of flooding in the interior have been reported here in BC.
Will be good to see the sunshine one of these days. :)

Liara Covert said...

Sharing this space is always a joy. We can watch what goes on around us in the lives of others and apparent external conditions and accept things as they are or, react in some way and wish things be different. To be aware, is to accept what is unfolding, to respond with love and equanimity, to embrace all as it is, and to feel okay with whatever appears to be happening around you. If you disagree, judge, reject or resist then you are not fully present in this moment. Here all is well. According to the universe, everything here unfolds with perfect timing in a natural way.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Alex - we can't imagining living as the Royals do .. so well said.

@ Old Kitty - you were lucky with the weather, even getting some sun. They are a match made in heaven aren't they.

@ Heather - my mother still loves to know what is going on - so I do what I can when I can. The Royals are people she won't forget ..

@ Chuck - it is good news for this country .. and they have done an incredible amount this .. their Jubilee year started in March!

Maybe that is the Queen's secret .. she certainly has good genes. She won't be attending the golf though! Do you know they're saying it'll be another month or so before the weather improves .. that's over Wimbledon and onto the beginning of the Olympics .... seriously the weather pattern needs to change!

@ Luanne - forest fires .. and I was being told the States had the same weather as us!

Don't the dogs look smart! I too don't like big crowds .. wouldn't mind being there ... getting to and fro is the thing I don't like.

@ Gary - I'd rather have the Queen than an elected president .. no stability or continuity. And Prince Philip doesn't mince his words ... and does his homework - so long may they both be around to cheer our lives.

I'm pleased your friends in Ceredigion are ok - as that is the worst affected part ... I'm sure the community will pull together ..

@ A Lady's Life - yes it was sad the Queen has been on her own - but it looks like the Royals are a settled family now ...

I try to include my mother in as much as is possible, even if I go and watch with her ... while she sleeps - at least I'm there. I know I'll have many memories of these last years as I've spent so much time with her.

Floods and Forest Fires in north America .. the weather is topsy turvy - I'd like to see the sunshine too!

@ Liara - lovely to see you here - as you say we can't change things only our own little sphere of light and love.

Life does unfold before us and certainly I take what comes and embrace the opportunities it provides, however small ... all positives add up and increment life's great purpose. Thanks so much for your comment.

Cheers everyone - so lovely to see you .. have a wonderful week ahead .. Hilary

Francene Stanley said...

The steadfast devotion between the Queen and Prince Philip brings tears to my eyes. Thank you for sharing all these thoughts, which bring back the memories of last week's festivities.

Sue said...

Hello Hilary, I hoped I'd find the latest news here and I did! Thankyou. They have been an extraordinary couple, not only devoted to each other and their family, but to the country. They're inspiring! I hope I'm going half as well as the Queen when I'm her age.

I was thinking of you and your mother this evening while I was watching a show on TV about Gurrumul Yunupingu, an aboriginal musician who played at the Queen's Jubilee. If you have time to watch, it's called Australian Story and will be available on iView later in the week. He has a beautiful voice, and if you could get to a concert during the current tour, don't hesitate.



Laura Eno said...

He does, indeed, look chipper - and amazing at 91.

Talli Roland said...

I'm amazed at the Queen's energy. If I had to do all that, I'd be asleep on my feet! She's very admirable.

T. Powell Coltrin said...

Prince Philip keeps on going, bless his heart.

Wonderful post, Hilary.


Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Francene - it is wonderful to see a happily married couple at any stage of their life .. but to have weathered life as these two have done .. is amazing isn't it - brings tears to my eyes too ..

@ Sue - you're right .. the Jubilee news continues on. Me too - I hope I'm still going strong at their age ..

I think my mother would have enjoyed Gurrumul - but sadly we can't really do long things - she doesn't concentrate/take it in - but Gurrumul put on a couple performances here that I've seen on tv - for the Queen ...

Thanks - for the tip about watching Australian Story .. and sometime I sincerely hope I can get to see him live ..

@ Laura - he enjoyed last year's birthday celebrations - this was at the Duke of Edinburgh's Award scheme recognitions .. he masterminded decades ago.

@ Talli - well I'm exhausted just watching and 'reporting' back! So true - she's very admirable ..

@ Teresa - they are both amazing and bless their hearts .. for a few more years at least .. so glad you enjoyed the post

Thanks Francene, Sue, Laura, Talli and Teresa .. enjoy the week - Hilary

Patricia said...

Always a pleasure to pop in here Hilary and what a party you have been sharing. It makes me feel happy that your mum can participate in the celebrations via pictures and stories.

I feel like I am part of the party.

Iris are just finishing up here, I have some Japanese Iris near my bright poppies and they make quite a show the deep purple and bright oranges together. Our roses are just starting and now the deer have arrived to feast!

My Sister was named after Elizabeth the Queen - well it is her middle name. My mother had a formula

What's next for the great and worthy couple? 91 and doing okay..
That is fairly amazing in itself.
Thank you for such a great post and letting us in on the party

Patsy said...

I liked Prince Phillip's comment - it was a daft thing for them to ask him!

Patsy said...

I'm losing it ... clicked 'publish' instead of starting a new paragraph ...

I meant to add - Hello Hilary's mother! Can understand you being fond of honeysuckle as it's got a lovely scent as well as pretty flowers. I grow three different types to try and have the fragrance for as long as possible.

Rosalind Adam said...

You've got to feel sorry for Prince Philip. He's never had a chance to be the man of the house, if you know what I mean. I do think it's unfair that we as a nation expect them both to continue working on such a gruelling schedule. If we treated all pensioners like that there'd soon be a furore.

So glad to hear of your Mother. Wish her well from me.

Jo said...

She could, of course, abdicate and therefore retire. No-one is really forcing her to go on. Mind you I don't think she would ever abdicate particularly as her uncle did so.

Karen Lange said...

Thanks for all the news and notes and for the colorful photos. Love those flowers (all of them:).

Yes, the show must go on, always, for every one of us to some degree. Please tell your Mother hello from the fair state of Kentucky in the US. :)

Have a good week!


Davina said...

Hilary, it's wonderful to hear you write about your mother's eyes lighting up. That made me smile inside and out :) I appreciate all your updates about your mother and send a cyber hug across the way to you both.

I'm always fascinated by the Royals. And I noted how Prince Philip emerged from the hospital looking quite dapper in his suit. He looked well and he does not look his age at all!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Patricia - glad you feel that way .. it's lovely when my mother does participate - not often, but she smiles with us. I expect many children bore her name .. as we'll now have many Williams and Kates ..

ah the vagaries of spring/summer - fading irises and poppies, burgeoning roses and feasting deer!

Good to see you and for joining in the party.

@ Patsy - oh I do that too sometimes .. frustrating to say the least, when we haven't finished with our comments!

Thanks for your thoughts re my Mother - she does love her scented flowers .. Good for you spreading your honeysuckle season - good idea.

@ Ros - they seem to have made a pact .. he does the Estates and has his various charities which keep him fully busy and involved.

They might be like many of us - who once we retire then give up .. but it's a quirk of fate - they can't unless they're ill.

Thanks for your thoughts re my Ma .. she does love hearing from everyone.

@ Jo - the official line makes interesting reading on this aspect.

@ Karen - glad you enjoyed the post and sprinkling of flowers. You're right there we all need to keep going somehow - and I will mention you and Kentucky to my Mama.

@ Davina - yes her eyes still light up at times .. and she certainly can keep everyone amused still .. she's rather like the Duke of Edinburgh - one line quips!! Thanks too for your cyber hug!

Fascination does seem to be the word .. it was good to see him looking dapper as you say .. and they are wearing very well.

Many thanks everyone for popping by and all your lovely comments and 'hugs' for my mother .. cheers Hilary

Juliet said...

I must say that I felt for him, getting dehydrated and having to stand all the time. The Queen is amazing how hard she is still working in her 80s. No retirement for her. I'm so glad that your mother can enjoy your posts.

Lydia Kang said...

Glad your mother enjoyed the pictures! That flooding sounds scary. And I also wish the Royal family have a good weekend together.

Jenni Steel said...

You write such informative and very interesting posts Hilary. I love to pop along as I know I will learn and catch up on all that I have missed.

I hope your mum continues to stay strong for you. As always - thank you for sharing. Best wishes

Jenni x

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Juliet .. they decided to stand apparently, as they were expected to sit down ... perhaps standing gave them more shelter from the wind .. both the Queen and Duke are incredible at their age.

Thanks Juliet - my mother enjoys snippets of my posts!

@ Lydia - yes when my mother is sufficiently with it - she still enjoys things. The flooding has got worse - just very wet and unfortunate for some. Like you I hope they've had a good few days together ..

@ Jenni - many thanks indeed .. just delighted to read you enjoy coming over .. there'll be more.

Thank you re my Mama she is amazing and continues on ..

Thanks so much Juliet, Lydia and Jenni - great to see you and your lovely comments - cheers Hilary

Linda said...

Glad to hear your mom is enjoying the pictures and is interested in all the goings on of the celebration. I do enjoy hearing about her and how she's doing.

As for the royal family, I would not want to live my life as they have, constantly being watched. No thanks!

Arlee Bird said...

The Queen and Prince Philip are an amazing couple. 64 years is a darn good record. Of course they've had a life of privilege without some of the conflict that working class couples often face and the Royal Family undoubtedly has a tremendous system of support. I wish them many more years of health and happiness.

A Faraway View
An A to Z Co-host blog

Deniz Bevan said...

Happy birthday Prince Philip!
I love the idea that the last river pageant was Charles II's. He knew how to party in style :-)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Linda - thank you re my Mama .. and it's so lovely knowing everyone 'cares' for her too ..

We may think we want to be a Royal .. but - exactly as you say!

@ Lee - they're of similar ilk aren't they, yet very different in their outlooks, but work so well together in their respective roles. Thanks from them for your wishes!

@ Deniz - I hope he had a peaceful one Deniz ... Charles II realised to restore to the power to the throne he needed to show pomp and circumstance - it worked!

Thanks Linda, Lee and Deniz - so much for being here .. cheers Hilary

Juliet said...

Hilary, your blog has dropped off my list, and I've had to trace your through your comments on my blog. I wondered if I should sign up again, but don't want to do it twice. Are you able to check if I'm still on your sign-up list? - or are there just too many names to flick through?
I want to stay connected!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Juliet - not sure I exactly understand this .. but I've replied on your blog .. cheers Hilary

Empty Nest Insider said...

So glad your mom's eyes "lit up" like the rest of us when you read her this lovely post! I didn't realize that they both would be celebrating their birthdays during the Jubilee. Julie

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Julie .. good to see you - the Queen's birthday is in April .. her official birthday (the reigning monarch's birthday) is celebrated in June at the Trooping of the Colour - post coming up ... while Prince Philip was born on June 10th ..

My mother does come too and still enjoys short 'talks' maybe or letters read, or commenting on some event .. and her eyes do light up ... it's lovely to see ..

Thanks for coming over and your lovely comment - cheers Hilary

Karen Jones Gowen said...

Hilary, I just checked my spam comment file and was surprised and shocked to see that all of your comments since April had gone to spam! I clicked them all as not spam so they are now showing up on my blog but I really want to apologize to you for not catching that sooner. I had seen your comments on my email and didn't realize they weren't being published on my blog. I'm wondering if you're still having a problem making comments on Blogger? Well, that would explain it! Somehow Blogger is interpreting your comments as spam and not publishing them. I hope that has been resolved. At least by me marking them as "not spam" perhaps it won't happen on my blog again.


Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Karen .. yes - your blog has an embedded comment box .. and this is what seems to happen - yet some comments don't even get to spam apparently ..

If you get a comment - I'm afraid you'll have to go to spam and dig it out!! Thank you!!

Cheers Hilary