Last weekend, expats all over the world took part in a range of regal events to celebrate Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee marking 60 years on the throne.
Over in Lisbon, Portugal, the Royal British Club hosted a gala dinner to mark the Jubilee. The event took place at Hotel Palacio in Estoril and Jill Gallard, British Ambassador to Portugal, attended as a guest speaker. Ms. Gallard will also be travelling to the Algarve in order to make a number of appearances at expat events.
On June 9th, the social group Portugal Friends has also hosted a Picnic in the Park that included family entertainment such as canoe trips on the river, face painting, a charity raffle and authentic British cuisine such as sausage and bacon rolls.
Meanwhile, in Healdsburg, USA, local expats participated in a range of British events including a best British lookalike competition (apparently their Elton John is pretty convincing), British trivia quizzes and a ‘fancy hat’ competition. Additional entertainment was provided by British Invasion music, a movement compromised of bands such as The Kinks, The Small Faces and The Beatles.
Local writer Frances Rivetti, cafe owner Lesley McCullaugh and Petaluma Downtown Association president Marie McCusker organised the event which they say is based on ‘the Big Lunch’. Guests were encouraged to get into the spirit of things and bring something along for the party such as beer, wine and traditional British party foods.
In New York, The British Consul-General hosted a six kilometre race, each one meant to represent a decade of Queen Elizabeth’s reign. The honorary guest for the evening was Sex and the City star Kim Catrall.
Commenting on the event she said “I am thrilled. I can’t be in London for the Diamond Jubilee so this is the next best thing, I feel that I am representing a lot of Brits and expats and also people who are from the Commonwealth of Britain today to celebrate the Queen and her 60 years of reign.”
Catrall was in fact born in Liverpool and her family are British. The actress commented that she’d come back to Britain during the late 60’s and lived in Liverpool and London before moving back over to America.
In Dubai, expats gathered at the British Embassy to experience the Jubilee celebrations on large screens placed in the embassy gardens. An eclectic range of people attended the event from ex-marines to local celebrity Simon Johnson, or as he’s known to some people ‘Mr Union Jack’. Commenting on the event Guy Warrington, British Consul-General in Dubai, spoke about the Diamond Jubilee bringing the community together to celebrate all the hard work that Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth has accomplished during her 60 year reign.
Mr Warrington told the Khaleej Times: “For most people in that garden, they’ve marked their lives in terms of the Queen, with big events in the Queen’s life. For example, I personally remember very strongly the Silver Jubilee which was in 1977, because I was a small child and we had a big party and in the village there was a large fete, like what we’re having here today.”