- Oops!Something went wrong.Please try again later.
- Oops!Something went wrong.Please try again later.
Four days — four whole days — off! Even if you are grateful to our Queen for nothing else, you must surely find it somewhere in your heart to love her for that. But by now, anyway, we are surely at a point where arch royalists and anti-monarchists alike are largely in agreement that Elizabeth II has been, and continues to be, A Good Thing. So take to the streets, raise a glass, have a little dance, hug your friends and celebrate 70 years that make up a reign like none other in history.
GET IT RIGHT ON THE ’GRAM
Curation of one’s Instagram feed is of course a gravely serious business: and a four-day weekend is a rare phenomenon. It must be documented. Yes, in reality, you’ve spent 70 per cent of your time rewatching The Crown and gorging on street party scraps, but that’s irrelevant.
You are greeted at the street party by a blinding cacophony of red, white and blue. Paper plates, plastic cups and three-piece suits abound — it is far from the ideal aesthetic.
Enough Union Jack is needed to exhibit your soft patriotism but not so much that you veer into tacky territory. Scout around for the most charming pastel door on your road and tear down a row of bunting or two when no one’s looking before you ambush a passerby to take a candid.
A fifth neighbour has ignited small talk and you gird yourself to perform the well-rehearsed dance of nodding and tutting along to yet another spiel about bin collection.
In the small window you’re able to get a word in, subtly suggest a group photo. They’ll rally the troops like it was their idea and you’ll have a snap to show off your circle of acquaintances (from whom you can’t get away sooner).
Your uni mates have assembled at a north London pub it took you 90 minutes to reach. Pubs are open two hours extra but TfL didn’t get the memo and you spend the night hankering after a spare sofa and checking City Mapper.
Drunks are eager photographers and you’ve managed to secure an effortless shot of everyone having actual fun. We won’t mention it was mere seconds before the reliable liability of the group chundered over your new leather shoes.
Invitations have run dry and you’re stuck with the brutal mix of a bank holiday mini-heatwave and a thudding head.
Peel yourself from the sheets, throw on your sunbathing gear for a hot second and head to the patio — a dump is not a dump without a mild, nonchalant thirst selfie.
TOUR HER MAJESTY’S LONDON
Let Clara Strunck be your guide to Her Maj’s most-frequented capital spots
With Buckingham Palace on offer, why would the Queen need to visit a hotel? But she does have a favourite: The Goring. Previously a regular haunt of the Queen Mother, it’s thought to be the monarch’s preferred venue for her Christmas lunch and Kate Middleton stayed there the night before her wedding. Runs in the family, then.
The Queen is more often spotted on the throne than the frow. But there she was at LFW in 2018 (beside Vogue editor Anna Wintour, no less) to watch the Richard Quinn show before presenting him with the inaugural Queen Elizabeth II Award for British Design. Did the Peckham-based designer tone down his signature bondage themes? Not in the slightest. ‘She’s known for her sense of humour,’ Quinn said. ‘I don’t think a gimp mask will shock the Queen.’
This art-deco landmark on Bury Street was the first public restaurant in history to host a reigning British monarch. The Queen popped by with Prince Philip after her coronation in 1956, but she wasn’t the only royal to take a liking to the spot. The Prince of Wales (later, briefly, Edward VIII) wasa regular, while a permanent table was reserved for Princess Margaret.
17 BRUTON STREET
Here’s a fun fact: you might already have been to the Queen’s place of birth, without knowing it, and chances are, you had a few cocktails while you were there. Celebrity hotspot Hakkasan stands on the site of what used to be 17 Bruton Street, where Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Windsor was born at the home of her maternal grandparents in 1926. Her mother wrote letters around that time, saying: ‘The baby is very well, and now spends the whole day taking her shoes off and sucking her toes! She is going to be very wicked, and she is very quick I think…’
Rumour has it that underneath St James’ Palace lies a secret tunnel that leads to nearby Dukes Bar, purveyor of some of London’s meanest Martinis. The claim was made by Princess Eugenie’s husband, Jack Brooksbank, who said he had yet to see the tunnel but would ‘love to check it out’. Given the Queen is said to be partial to a dry Martini, we’d be surprised if she hasn’t ventured down below at least a few times…
Few London spots are as legendary and it would seem Liz agrees. A long-time royal favourite, this five-star hotel on Brook Street has hosted the Windsors so often it’s sometimes referred to as the annex of Buckingham Palace. The Queen held her 60th birthday do here in 1986, where it’s said guests drank the Windsor Fizz cocktail (elderflower, champagne and raspberry liquer). Sadly, any more salacious details of what went on are strictly under wraps...
The Queen’s private bank was founded in 1692, making it even older than the Bank of England, which was set up two years later. Though its swish main offices are situated on the Strand and Liz has made the occasional official visit, she’s not exactly a regular — partly because she famously doesn’t carry cash and partly because she has her own Coutts ATM installed in the basement of Buckingham Palace.
The Queen attended the opening of The O2, or Millennium Dome as it was then known, for a midnight ceremony welcoming in the new century. Though she was pictured drinking champagne and holding hands with then-PM Tony Blair to sing ‘Auld Lang Syne’, it was later revealed that a bomb threat nearly called off the whole evening — thankfully, it proved to be a hoax.
As a baby the Queen moved to a house her parents had taken at 145 Piccadilly, where she spent most of her childhood with her sister, Princess Margaret. Apparently, the Queen was often taken for strolls in her pram in nearby Hyde Park and would, when she was older, play with her corgi Jane in the gardens. Sadly, the house was bombed in the Second World War and now the InterContinental hotel stands on its site.
FARRER & CO
Far and away London’s poshest law firm, Farrer & Co served Britain’s elite for more than 300 years. The Holborn-based firm has long-standing links to the royal family and acts as the Queen’s go-to lawyers; most recently, they executed Prince Philip’s will.
CHELSEA FLOWER SHOW
The Queen is a regular at the yearly show in the grounds of the Royal Hospital Chelsea and last week was no exception. In 2016, she showed off her memorable wit during a chat with herb gardener Jekka McVicar, who informed the Queen that lily of the valley was once used as poison. ‘I’ve been given two bunches this week,’ the Queen was said to have joked. ‘Perhaps they want me dead.’
GO HERE IF YOU LOVE THE QUEEN
HEAD TO THE FOUR SEASONS, Park Lane, if you fancy meeting the actual corgis from The Crown. There are also special Jubilee macaroons, a royal wedding fruitcake inspired by The Queen and Prince Philip’s wedding cake in 1947, but… it’s really all about the corgis.
THE BERKLEY — one of the best things about Her Maj? Her tonal wardrobe, obvs. Nosh on iced-biscuit homages to her best looks while sipping a virgin G&Tea violet cocktail or Laurent Perrier Rosé at this special Prêt-à-Portea.
SPEAKING OF COCKTAILS, THE LILIBET — Earl Grey infused gin shaken with bergamot & white cacao liqueur — is on offer at the Lanseborough, as well as a quite regally decadent-looking Sunday roast.
...AND HERE IF YOU DON’T REALLY
THE ‘ALTERNATIVE’ ROYAL COMMAND PERFORMANCE, hosted by Duckie, promises a raucous queer bonanza for your inner anarchist.
Tickets £10. 3 Jun at Southbank Centre.
For some recess from everything royal-related, Peckham’s independent dance festival GALA offers an alternative list of talent from the Commonwealth and beyond.
Tickets from £60. 2-4 Jun, thisisgala.co.uk
Celebrate Liz’s 70 years on the throne in the only way she would want you to by raving away at Ritmo in the palatial arches of BERMONDSEY SOCIAL CLUB.
Tickets from £15. 4 Jun
BUY YOURSELF SOME SERIOUSLY TATTY TAT
Covent Garden Market, South Hall stand: Rubber Duck, £4.20; Beefeater bottle opener, £5.80.
Souvenir shop, 14 Leicester Square: Queen bobblehead, £16.99; Jubilee tea towel, £9.99; Jubilee Plate, £14.99.
London Impression, 35 Coventry Street: Salt & pepper Beefeaters, £5.99; Photo frame, £7.99; Key ring, £3.99.
Toys & Gifts, on Oxford Street: Royal Egg cup, £7.99
HEED THE WORDS OF THOSE WHO HAVE MET HER
“I know of no single formula for success. But over the years, I have observed that some attributes of leadership are universal and are often about finding ways of encouraging people to combine their efforts, their talents, their insights, their enthusiasm and their inspiration to work together” - Queen Elizabeth II
“The ultimate woman of girl power #QueenElizabeth II — the longest-reigning monarch in British history... Long live our gracious Queen, she is just amazing...” - Geri Halliwell
“She is a sweet woman and we talked about how she spends her weekends, houses and music. She is really cool” - Lewis Hamilton
“I met the Queen once… I was invited to the palace for something, I can’t remember what, and I saw her through the crowd. She was in this apricot dress, but there was just this… glow around her. I was blown away” - Nick Cave
“I think she is the most wonderful, incredible woman and just a great Queen. There will never be anyone like her again” - Dame Joan Collins
PROBABLY STEER CLEAR OF THIS PLAYLIST
While there aren’t too many pro-royal pop songs, there are plenty that are anti.
BOB VYLAN — ‘England’s Ending’
CRASS — ‘Big a Little A’
PRIMAL SCREAM — ‘Insect Royalty’
SEX PISTOLS — ‘God Save the Queen’
GHETTS — ‘IC3 (feat Skepta)’
SLOWTHAI — ‘Nothing Great About Britain’
PET SHOP BOYS — ‘Dreaming of the Queen’
IDLES — ‘Reigns’
THE SMITHS — ‘The Queen is Dead’
THE HOUSEMARTINS — ‘Flag Day’ (Single Version)
THE STONE ROSES — ‘Elizabeth My Dear’ (Remastered)
SKEPTA — ‘Hypocrisy’
McCARTHY — ‘Charles Windsor’
MANIC STREET PREACHERS — ‘Repeat (UK)’
BE A NICE ABOLITIONIST
You’re waiting with your parents outside Grandma’s front door, cradling your dishevelled attempt at a Jubilee pudding. For one night and one night only, you have selflessly agreed to withhold your republican impulse. Allow us to present you with the conversation starters to help you remain undercover.
‘Did you watch the State Opening of Parliament? Charles is such a great advocate for the working class. And that solid gold throne? Stunning.’
*Ignite a ‘God Save the Queen’ singalong*
‘Oh, I do wish Wills and Harry would get along for Her Majesty’s sake.’
‘I loved seeing all the pictures from Will and Kates’s royal tour — so sweet!’
In case of emergency, take a leaf out of our monarch’s book and keep a handbag on you at all times. Transfer it from your left to your right hand to signal you are done with the conversation. Your royalist kin will absolutely recognise the move and you can breathe a sigh of relief. You do have to admit though: 70 years on the job is pretty impressive.