[Editor's note: Bill and I both ending up writing on the same topic but from different angles (my article), so we are making this Diamond Jubilee Day on The English Tea Store Blog. Enjoy!]
Say what you want about royalty, but don’t say it doesn’t come with a measure of job security. Political unrest aside, it’s a safe bet that most royals have the gig for life or until they decide to step down.
At 60 years and counting on the throne, Queen Elizabeth II is not the longest serving British monarch. That distinction is held by her ancestor, Queen Victoria, who held her post for more than 63 years. It’s a longshot that the Queen will surpass the record for the longest reigning monarch ever, held by King Sobhuza II of Swaziland (at 82 years). But 60 years is nothing to sneeze at and unless you’ve been living under a rock lately, you’re probably aware that there’s a little celebration afoot to mark this anniversary.
It’s called the Diamond Jubilee, of course, and though the so-called Central Weekend took place in early June and has thus come and gone, the Jubilee encompasses much more than that. For all the details, you might as well start your search at the official Web site. Not surprisingly, the present article will focus mostly on Jubilee-related manifestations of that veddy British drink, tea.
You could hardly imagine a venerable British tea merchant such as Twinings letting the moment pass without commemorating it in some way and indeed they have. More about the Twinings Jubilee Tea Blend here. Here’s an assortment of what’s apparently officially sanctioned Diamond Jubilee merchandise, from the Royal Collection, including teapot, cup and saucer, tea towel and two different tea caddies. As of this writing, The English Tea Store’s Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Crown Tea Cozy shown above is “temporarily unavailable,” but here’s the link if you’d like to keep tabs.
Taking things even further, here’s a report from the British press on a tea merchant there who’s gone to the extreme of creating a Diamond Jubilee Tea Salon. On a less serious note, but perhaps even more extreme, an article about what happens when you turn 100 monkeys loose on a Diamond Jubilee tea party. Don’t try this at home, kids (even if you do happen to have 100 monkeys hanging around).
Of course tea-related stuff is only the tip of a vast iceberg of Jubilee merchandise. For an idea of just how much of this sort of thing is out there, take a look at this article. As for me, I’m off to see if I can turn up one of those Prince Philip garden gnomes.
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