Gransnet forums


60 Years of the Queen's reign - what defines it for you?

(55 Posts)
JosieGransnet (GNHQ) Thu 17-May-12 15:04:35

With the Queen's Jubilee coming up we thought it would be a great time to relive all the fond memories we have of the Queen's reign. What do you think Elizabeth II's reign will be remembered for?

Did you watch the Queen's coronation? What do you remember about it? What are your top royal moments of the last 60 years?

vampirequeen Thu 17-May-12 18:13:39

My dad worked in London and we used to go in with him sometimes to sight see then meet him at his office to come home. We didn't know London very well so had to go to his office by the same route each time. One afternoon we found the way blocked by the police. The roads had been closed to vehicles and pedestrians. We pleaded to go through. Asked if the road would be closed for long. Explained we didn't know how to get to Smith Square any other way. Finally he took pity on us....or just had no idea what we were saying in our Northern accents lol. He said to stand on the corner and we would get a surprise. Not long after there was a lot of police activity and around the corner swept Liz and Phil in their big car. Hence the closing of the roads...she never gets stuck in traffic jams. Anyway we waved like loonies and they waved back. So I can honestly say I've had my own personal wave from Liz and Phil because there was no one else around except saluting police officers.

eGJ Fri 18-May-12 16:24:43

The first time I saw television was at a neighbour's house for the Coronation. I vow to this day that the sky was in colour! I remember Queen Salote of Tonga smiling with her coach hood down inspite of the drizzle. The Queen just smiled and smiled! I can recall us having to go into the school playground for the Union Flag to be raised and lowered as Queen Mary had died, not long before the Coronation. Our whole school walked to the cinema (another first) to see the film of the coronation. We were each given a teaspoon!

goldengirl Sat 19-May-12 10:09:52

I was nearly 5 and we went to friends to watch it on their TV. I remember eating a lot and being entranced by all the glitz and the solemn moment of crowning but what I did in between I don't know. I know there would have been celebrations at my church school but I don't remember those either and if we were given a momento I don't know what it was or what happened to it. I love the stirring music of Zadok The Priest still.

I shall probably be glued to the TV during the various royal activites - I'll not see anything like it again that's for sure.

Hunt Sat 19-May-12 10:17:34

I spent the night in Hyde Park waiting for the Queen to ride by in the Coronation coach. I went up to Marble Arch station to go to the loo and came running back to tell everyone that Hilary had climbed Everest! I took some photos on my little box brownie - not very good as it rained and they are covered in raindrops. The best one is of Queen Salote of Tonga, smiling and waving. I also belong to an Historic Dance Company and we were asked to Dance for the Queen at Eastbury Manor House in Barking when she visited during the Millenium Tour. One of our number had made a card with the royal coat of arms embroidered on it. We handed it to an Equerry, who looked at it as if it was a letter bomb! However he said he would give it to the Queen and we got a letter of thanks from the Palace saying how much the Queen had enjoyed our dancing.She also spoke to my husband but he was so confused trying to doff his hat,control his sword, take a photo and make a Tudor reverence that he can't remember what she said or what he replied! It can't have been anything controversial as he wasn't whipped off to the Tower.

fieldwake Sat 19-May-12 10:23:55

Continuity in an ever changing world. But she is Taurus a fixed sign. I haven't had a tv most of my 71 years. Actually only seen her once live at the tower for the Ordnance Survey bi-centenary work trip. But then only been to London couple of times.

Annobel Sat 19-May-12 11:19:22

Can't help remembering the 'annus horribilis' of 1992 when the Yorks split up, Princess Anne divorced Mark Phillips, Diana's 'true story' was published, part of Windsor Castle burnt down, and finally Charles and Diana's marriage broke up. I really felt for the Queen that year, simply as a mother seeing her family disintegrating. She has risen above all that as one would expect and accepted new spouses and relationships, taking a pride in her grandchildren, as we do.

soop Sat 19-May-12 11:50:14

My parents bought their first 12" b/w television. Prior to inviting neighbours in to watch the ceremony, my mother wanted the sitting room, entrance hall and stairway painted. She was a very particular lady wink My father managed to kick the paint pot over at the top of the stairs...she then required a new carpet. On the day, in the neighbours came and were no doubt impressed with not only the television, but the decor too. Lady neighbour drank too much sherry. Almost fell on top of my father as he tried to steady her at the bottom of the stairs. He stepped back, knocked over mother's favourite antique vase which smashed to smithereens, damaged the fresh paintwork and stained the new carpet. I sat in front of the television dressed as Robin Hood. My sister was a squaw. We both had bows and arrows. My mother wore her best annoyed expression [thanks to lady neighbour's clumsiness] and a good time was had by almost all...

Anagram Sat 19-May-12 11:53:01

Oh, lovely, soop! What a wonderful picture! grin

soop Sat 19-May-12 12:03:51

Anagram I forgot to mention that the fancy dress costumes were made of crepe paper. After the TV ceremony, my sister and I walked in light rain to the marquee for paste sandwiches and other goodies. By the time the party was over, our outfits were in a very sorry sister's feather in the hair had wilted and our bows and arrows had been destroyed by local lads who wanted to play cowboys and indians...grin

fieldwake Sat 19-May-12 12:17:18

Yes annobel I think apart from being duitful she has always kept her dignity. When bad things happen around me I try to think how the Queen would react and it always means I try to keep my dignity. An example to us all.

nanaej Sat 19-May-12 13:01:50

I remember I had a toy replica of the coronation coach but do not recall anything else. I do remember, when I was teaching in Wandsworth, standing for ages with a class of 6 yr olds on the pavement for the queen to drive by as part of her Silver Jubilee tour. we waited for at least an hour and she was past in 5 seconds, no coach,no crown not looking our side of the road..the kids were not happy! grin

glammanana Sat 19-May-12 17:19:11

I remember having the street party our road was on a hill and the further down the hill you sat the more your sandwichs and jellies slid down the table, my dad was ill in bed with the mumps which made him very poorly and we kept running up and down the stairs telling him what was going on in the Road,he made sure that mum got him a bottle of beer for when he was better as they had paid into the "kitty" for weeks before and was not going to miss out.I am now able to answer most questions that my DGCs ask about the Royal family as I have been alive for all her reign,I do think that her reign will be remembered as they are a family who have problems the same as the rest of us with regard to divorce's and falling out with each other.

dorsetpennt Sat 19-May-12 17:33:24

We were living in Ottawa, Canada at the time, I was 9 years old. My father was in the R.C.A.F so had to take part in a Coronation Parade. I remember going to the area around the Canadian Houses of Parliament for it - with all the Forces including the Mounties, who look wonderful and we were so proud of them. My father came by with his men following on - we all cheered madly. The film of the Coronation was flown to Canada via a jet plane and I was allowed to stay up and watch it. It was in black and white of course. However, a film had been made of the occasion in technicolour and we went to see that. There were no street parties in Ottawa as the French Canadians objected to any British show of loyalty. However, Government House threw a party for the children who went to the C.of E. Sunday School. We also had Xmas parties there. The Governor at the time was Lord Alexander of Tunis and I remember sitting on his lap during a puppet show.

Bez Sat 19-May-12 17:54:57

Soop I just love your story - could imagine it all.
We went to a neighbours to watch the whole thing and my mother and the neighbour made copious amounts of sandwiches - mum probably made egg ones as we kept chickens- and they were all wrapped in grease proof paper and put into biscuits tins. We had a great day.
We had a street party too with a fancy dress - my sister and I went as Harem Scar'em - I was dressed on a harem sort of outfit made from old Muslim curtains and my sister was a ghost. We also had a sports day and a trip in a bus up to London to see all the decorations which I thought were wonderful.

Annobel Sat 19-May-12 18:04:11

I was 12 at the time of the coronation. We had a huge Union Flag flying from our dormer windows. As one of the few families with a TV, albeit with a screen about the size of a lady's handkerchief, we had a full house. In the afternoon there was a pageant (on the local football field) that my uncle had helped to write and I was an ancient Briton; then rather better dressed as a lady at the court of Mary Queen of Scots. Not sure what my kid sisters were doing, but I was having a ball!

Bags Sat 19-May-12 19:01:38

The queen was well and truly installed by the time I was born, so what defines it for me is the fact that she's there. In the nicest possible way, she's like a comfortable old piece of furniture that everyone takes for granted. Theoretically I'm a republican but, Lizzie old bean, you're a goodun.

jeni Sat 19-May-12 19:29:39


Anagram Sat 19-May-12 19:39:09

I was only two at the time of the Coronation, but my granny had a lot of Coronation memorabilia (bet they didn't call it that then!) and I remember playing with the little replica coach. I don't think I really thought much about the Queen until her annus horribilis - and yes, it probably was the first time the country had realised that she is only human and has worries about her family like everyone else. No matter how much money, or how many servants you have, it doesn't prevent you from wanting the best for your children.

Annobel Sat 19-May-12 19:42:35

I seem to remember a replica coach and a tiny throne. But not one each! I think we all had chocolate in a Coronation tin. I have a Coronation tin that originally contained Oxo cubes.

Gally Sat 19-May-12 20:19:52

I was nearly 4 when the Queen was 'coronated' as my Ozzie relatives call it. I remember watching it on a tiny tv at my aunt's house; it rained and there was a big coach with a pretty lady in it - that's about it - don't remember anything else about the day. I was given a tiny replica coach to play with - in fact, I still have it somewhere. However, I am most definitely a Royalist and very grateful for all she has done for the past 60 years. Better that than a Presidency - or worse. What state would this country be in without Her Maj at the top?? I don't think people realise how lucky we are to have a woman who has given her all to her country - ok she has money, pots of it, but would you do what she has done??? Stability comes to mind; dignity, resolve and duty. I think she is amazing - just a pity about all the hangers-on. Long live her Maj, say I, and heaven help what comes next hmm

Sally Sat 19-May-12 23:40:56

As an American I am an avid Royal watcher. You are very fortunate to have Queen Elizabeth. I hope when she is no longer Queen William will be King. He seems to have quite a lot of the Queens qualities.

Joan Sun 20-May-12 02:14:20

I wanted to watch it on a neighbour's TV - I was 8 - but Mum and Dad wouldn't let me 'impose'. Instead I collected pictures of the crown jewels - I love jewellery design to this day.

I'm not bothered about the monarchy one way or the other these days, but voted against an Australian republic because our system works fine, and the Queen will never embarrass us or act dishonourably, as many presidents throughout the world seem to do.

We all got coronation mugs through the school, and our names were permanently listed. I'll find the link and post it below here.

Joan Sun 20-May-12 02:17:10

here's the link:

I'm listed as Joan V Gibbs in the second column of Eastthorpe School.

Jacey Sun 20-May-12 13:24:51

I have always enjoyed the 'pomp and ceremony' ...something this country does really well. [pride] emocion

However ...for me the defining moment was the way the Queen was brought to deal with Diana's death ...due to the outporing of a nation's feelings.
(And no I'm not going into the rights and wrongs of that marriage)

It seems to me that the entire monarchy seemed to become more open and hands on with the public/people in general from that period...which is now even more overt thanks to the way William and Harry have been encouraged to maintain their mother's legacy.

Thank heavens that Andrew and his spoilt daughters ...with their insistance on protocol are not the route the Queen has taken.

A slight aside Josie and GNHQ ...shouldn't we have the Union flag as an emocion during the Jubilee celebrations...the Olympics and Para-Olympics???