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Sponge cakes and Sex Pistols: Britain erupts with jubilee joy

From rollerskating queens to red, white and blue wheelie bins, it's hard to find anything in Britain this week that doesn't have a jubilee theme

Published: Jun 2, 2022 06:46:35 PM IST
Updated: Jun 2, 2022 06:50:45 PM IST

Sponge cakes and Sex Pistols: Britain erupts with jubilee joyA knitted Queen Elizabeth II with a corgi and accompanying guards is pictured above a post box in Hangleton near Hove, East Sussex Image: Glyn Kirk / AFP

From rollerskating queens to red, white and blue wheelie bins, it's hard to find anything in Britain this week that doesn't have a jubilee theme.

Showbiz royalty
Head to the village of Wellington in Herefordshire in western England, and you'll find 104 scarecrows dressed up as queens, kings, princes and princesses by local residents as part of a competition.

"We've probably got a dozen or so queens dotted around... and a few 'Purple Rain' Princes," said co-organiser Phil Smith.

Princess Fiona from "Shrek", Queen singer Freddie Mercury and Princess Leia from "Star Wars" also feature.

Get your skates on

In Chipping Sodbury, western England, crowds will be entertained at a street party by a queen impersonator on rollerskates, The Times reported.

Dance fever

"Dig that crazy rhythm," Prince Charles once said as he tried his hand at scratch DJing in 2001. Now 73, he is no longer down with the kids.

He danced a tango with an alpaca farmer during a surprise appearance at a jubilee tea dance for older people near his Highgrove estate.

"It was wonderful," said Bridget Tibbs. "He was very lovely to dance with, a lovely sense of rhythm, a nice hold. It was a pleasure."

Art imitates life

The queen made a surprise cameo with James Bond actor Daniel Craig at the opening of the 2012 London Olympics. Charles and his wife Camilla have had to make do with "EastEnders".

The couple star in Thursday's jubilee edition of the long-running BBC soap opera, which largely revolves around family strife, scandal and sibling rivalries.

Corgi-mania

The popularity of corgis -- the queen's favourite canine breed -- is at a 30-year high, according to The Kennel Club, which tracks doggy demand.

Some 1,223 of the short-legged, waddling Pembroke Welsh Corgis were registered in 2021, said TKC spokesman Bill Lambert.

"The breed has certainly seen a boost in recent years, largely down, it would seem, to their starring roles in 'The Crown'," he added.

Royal social media channels have even unveiled a cute, crown-wearing corgi emoji, named PJ.

Clean for the queen

Still on the theme of dogs, one waste management company has even brought out corgi-branded dog poo bins.

Divert.co.uk has also unveiled distinctive wheelie bins in the red, white and blue colours of the union flag.

"Even bins deserve to celebrate a remarkable monarch," said company spokesman Mark Hall.

Tea and cake

Lara Mason didn't just bake a cake for the jubilee, she confected a life-sized cake of Her Majesty, with 400 eggs, 20 kilograms (44 pounds) of flour and 20 kilograms of butter.

Slices of the sponge sovereign were served to bingo players in Birmingham with a cup of tea. Naturally.

Topper that

Not to be outdone, the Holmes Chapel Community Yarn Bombers in Cheshire, northwest England, knitted a life-sized queen and a corgi.

"She has been in my dining room in various stages of dress," said Anita Armitt, 66, who set up the knitting group with a friend.

"The first night she was out I felt like I had to go down and say goodnight to her because I'd got into the routine of doing it!"

The village is also decorated with knitted bunting, soldiers and "topper" crowns on post boxes.

Royal Lego

More models, this time at Legoland Windsor, where a miniature display of the royal family has been fashioned from more than 18,000 individual bricks.

The plastic tribute includes a version of the Buckingham Palace balcony and took about 282 hours to put together.

Big Lizzie

As tributes go, getting more than 300 Royal Navy sailors to spell out the royal cypher "E II R 70" on a 65,000-tonne aircraft carrier is hard to beat.

It was staged on the deck of HMS Queen Elizabeth II, which is affectionately known by its crew as "Big Lizzie".

Not so rotten

The jubilee has even slightly got to Sex Pistols frontman John Lydon, aka Johnny Rotten, famous for the 1977 punk anthem "God Save the Queen".

"God bless the Queen. She's put with a lot," he told The Times, insisting he has never had anything against anyone in the royal family.

"It's the institution of it that bothers me and the assumption that I'm to pay for that," he told the newspaper from his home in Malibu.

"There's where I draw the line. It's like, 'No, you're not getting ski holidays on my tax'."

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