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June 05

God Save the Queen

By 1
Everyone in the UK is enjoying a lovely little extended holiday thanks to Her Majesty The Queen. Street parties, concerts, fancy clothes parades (apparently that is a thing) and best of all some fantastic sales and in-store events at local Miista retailers! Today is a historic occasion. Only once prior has a British monarch achieved the milestone of the Diamond Jubilee and that was Queen Victoria. Although, interestingly enough, she would not have made it if it had held its true meaning of 75 years -- the time requirement was lessened as a means to answer an onslaught of civil unrest in the latter half of the 19th century. So now we all get to have a Jubilee 15 years early, hooray! And what a reign we are celebrating. Queen Elizabeth's reign has been rather remarkable, filled with strong decisions and many firsts. Born Her Royal Highness Princess Elizabeth of York, she came into this world with quite the mouthful of a name, and it's only grown larger as the years go on. Her father George VI became king when she was 10 and three years later she fell madly in love with the man she would eventually marry Prince Philip Duke of Edinburgh. He was a controversial choice for a girl of such high standing -- a foreigner without money -- but he eventually won her family over. They married and despite still recovering from the ravages of war the Kingdom saw that she received hundreds upon hundreds of gifts. As a woman I must say though that the coolest part of her wedding was not the showering of presents but the fact that she insisted upon keeping her family's name, while her husband's objections fell on deaf ears. The honeymoon was short -- Prince Charles made his debut exactly one year after the wedding. Her responsibilities were adding up: wife, mother and shortly thereafter, Queen. Her father fell ill and after his death she attended her coronation at Westminster Abbey in the first televised ceremony of its kind in the history of the UK. [caption id="attachment_9464" align="aligncenter" width="400" caption="Age 25 at her coronation"][/caption] When Queen Elizabeth came to power the people put emphasis on the glamor that surrounded her. She was nicknamed the 'fairytale queen' and was expected to usher in a whole new Elizabethan age. The public loved her and despite the occasional dip, her popularity ratings were good and steady. She was more open and communicative than monarchs in the past. She was the first ruler to ever visit Australia and New Zealand -- and something like three quarters of the population gathered to greet her. She made a point to be seen, and her nonstop travels have made her the most widely traveled head of state in history. She went everywhere, 5 star or not, safe or otherwise. UK Prime Minister Harold Macmillan described her as having "the heart and stomach of a man." She did not want to be treated as a celebrity, but as a King. And even in the most dire of circumstances, she never let them see her sweat. Calm, courageous and level headed always -- even in 1981 when a 17 year old boy shot at her. Granted it was with blanks, but a bullet is a bullet. It makes sense then that she is Great Britain's longest living monarch. May she continue to serve her country in bold monochromatic color schemes and fancy hats for many years to come! [caption id="attachment_9465" align="aligncenter" width="396" caption="In royal garb for her 1977 Silver Jubilee"][/caption] So most of you know the deal: street parties, pub specials, restaurant deals, it's the typical merriment and mirth that comes along with an extra day off work. Yesterday there was a star-studded concert outside Buckingham Palace that featured artists including Stevie Wonder, Sir Paul McCartney, JLS, Kylie Minogue, Will.i.am, Sir Tom Jones, Jessie J, Shirley Bassey, Annie Lennox, Ed Sheeran and Madness even made an appearance up on the roof. Sunday saw the traditional Jubilee pageant on the bank of the river Thames and despite awfully nasty weather over one million people showed up. All went tickety-boo this year, but for the Queen's Silver Jubilee in 1977 events were a bit more raucous. The Sex Pistols were set to release their single God Save the Queen, a severely anti-monarchist anthem. Two days before the Jubilee pageant, the anarchistic punk band chartered a boat to travel down the Thames and pass by Westminster Pier and the House of Parliament while playing their little ditty about Britain's "fascist regime." Well, no one makes a mockery of the Queen and all the rest of the posh ones, and certainly not some crusty gutter punks like Sid Vicious and Johnny Rotten. Alas, their cruise ended with the police -- the band members were ushered away to freedom, but their manager and members of their entourage including Vivienne Westwood (how cool is she, I mean like come on) were hauled down to the slammer. The public ate up the stunt and went crazy over the album, but when it came time to check out the UK record charts for the week of the Jubilee, Rod Stewart was inexplicably holding the first spot with a song that had been out for more than three weeks already. Apparently because of the little scene the boys caused, the British Phonographic Institute demanded that CBS Records, the company behind the sales of both artists, under-report the Sex Pistols numbers for that week. They were in fact out selling Rod two to one. The Queen does not play like that, she's not one to mess with. [caption id="attachment_9462" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="The Silver Jubilee announcement"][/caption] Well that was a serious side story, so let's get back to the point: discounts, sales & fun events! Diffusion is offering 20% off EVERYTHING until midnight, use the code JUBILEE20 at checkout. Urban Outfitters has a fun little "Royal Enclosure" where they're selling royal themed novelty items -- really cute union jack nail stickers and an amazing bulldog throw pillow cover. Anthropologie has 20% off selected items in their "Noble Offering" collection. Author Shoes will be participating in a street wide fiesta on South Molton tomorrow -- stop by for a 1940s style bash featuring wine, bunting, cupcakes by Ella's Bakehouse, a tea party, goody bags and 20% off EVERYTHING full price! And we have to include photos from TopShop's event on Friday hosted by Meadham Kirchhoff. Inspired by MK SS12, the flagship Oxford Street store was filled with pastel balloons, silk gown clad dancers, cotton candy colored frou frou wigs, glittery dealy boppers, diamante jewels, elbow length gloves and sparkly shoes! The makeup area became a face painting station and shimmery Meadham Kirchhoff tees were up for grabs. Candy floss and glittery pink popcorn made the rounds, and if you spent over 60 pounds you got a free crown. The event quickly turned into a Spice Girls bumping rave and ended with a stunning Britannia shimmering and shimmying on a rotating glitter cake surrounded by feathery burlesque dancers. And you HAVE to check out their Jubilee Collection -- Union Jack denim shorts, red/white/blue floral bustiers, Scottie dog appliques, tea cup charm bracelets, lace and floral organza, metal Tinkersmith dogs, paisley and so much more of Great British style. And a couple images from Susie Bubble's coverage of the event on Style Bubble... [caption id="attachment_9458" align="aligncenter" width="700" caption="Shop windows"][/caption] A word to the wise though, we are all super excited and love the queen so much but let's try not to go overboard, k guys?
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