It was 1945, Princess Elizabeth was 18 and I was a small impressionable boy of 12 when I met her. It was just before the end of the war. I’ve been dazzled ever since, so be kind.
The speech is an annual affair, and this year the message was particularly worth watching and reading because Britain had a mind-spinning time of it in 2012. Here she made a speech to start off her Diamond Jubilee year.
June 3. Marked the beginning of her Jubilee celebrations (that’s 60 years on the throne), catching up fast with Queen Victoria, who reigned for 63 years and 7 months. We followed the procession of ships on the Thames on a rather watery day.
July 23. She sent a message of congratulations to cyclist Bradley Wiggins, who had just won the Tour de France, the first Brit to ever do so, and was later to win the most golds at the Olympics.
July 27. She opened the Summer Olympics, hosted in London, and
August 29. Opened the London Paralympics.
September 10. Andy Murray became the first Brit (ok, Scot), to win a Grand Slam event (US Open) since Fred Perry in the thirties. He’d also won gold at the Olympics, first to do so in 100 years.
Now it’s the end of the year, and with 2013 upon us, it remains to be seen what’s in store for an encore.
Makes me proud to remember the land of my birth, although I gave up citizenship long ago for silly reasons (unbelievably, I was protesting my country’s intervention in Biafra!)
God Save the Queen still rings in my ears. Happy and Glorious. Can’t help it.