Last weekend, I celebrated my own birthday as well as Queen Elizabeth II's official 90th birthday. Her actual birthday is in April, but June weather is meant to be nicer, so the public celebrate it in June. London (and the whole of the UK) was buzzing with street parties over the weekend. I decided to see what was happening on the Sunday, which was the big day for the Queen's "The Patron Lunch" and the main day for street parties.
I ended up in Lamb Conduit Street near Russel Square first. When I arrived, I wish I had arrived earlier as they were just finishing up the dog show. There were prizes based on the size of the dog, waggiest tail, most handsome, prettiest, best sit, and best trick. I saw all types of dogs, but someone said the daschund won the top prize.
The dogs and their owners stayed in the area for awhile as there were food and drinks to consume (I tried a champagne made in Hampshire), a competition for the best crown, temporary tattoos, and other prizes.
One of the shop fronts had a display dedicated to the queen. Many shops had some patriotic display.
And of course, there were Morris dancers....
Bunting hung from the trees and in between lamp posts. Red, white, and blue balloons were floating.
The crown-making competition looked fascinating with different styles of crown on display. My favourite was the red and gold one, which was made from painted coffee beans.
After wandering around, I walked through Holborn, through Covent Garden, across Leicester Square and Piccadilly Circus before walking all the way down to Green Park. Well, before Green Park I took a peek inside the cordoned off area to watch a band playing the "Star Wars" theme down the Mall and a glimpse of those soaked people sitting around the tables at "The Patron's Lunch".
Green Park had a television broadcasting the events unfolding at the end of the park. Flags were being given away, and there were plenty of places to buy food and drink.
I did not stay for long.
London itself was decorated with Union Jack flags on many streets. Many of the shop windows also had birthday messages and imagery.
I believe that more people would have been out had the weather been nicer. The continuous intermittent showers seemed to keep people away, but it was certainly one of the most memorable events of the year. I only wish my street would have had a street party.