13 September 2015
There were 36 persons champing at the bit, who, as is usual here, arrived in the dining-room twenty minutes early for the “Longest Reign Dinner”. Many guests carried bottles of wine, one or two champagne. We took an Alsace, and a 2007 Nuits-St-Georges. Yum. Someone on our table brought an interesting champagne from New Zealand (of which I had a toothful). BH tried everything with gusto and more than his share of the canapés.
Thanks to a nonsense with seating, one of our foursome had to sit at another table, but we swapped places for pudding so THAT was alright.
The chef went over the top; every plate was loaded in layers, cloaked and crowned, you might say. Only the bling was missing. There were several toasts but no singing of the National Anthem for some reason: perhaps the organiser thinks it as dreary a tune as I do?
Quite honestly there was no way I could eat my Queen of Puddings, but BH did it justice, more than.
We all tottered home clutching our empty bottles to recycle, and repeating the more amusing Coronation anecdotes people had shared during the evening. For example, watching it all in black and white on tiny TV sets, sleepovers in the Mall, sitting grandly in specially-built stands, and everyone remembered the rain.
Queen Sālote of Tonga (left) was mentioned almost as often as our own dear Queen. Someone had been at sea as a serving WREN and the Admiral had proposed the loyal toast. Another bought along her Coronation mug and a tray cloth embroidered at school with a rose, shamrock, thistle, and leek.
Followed the night and I, for one, should NEVER have drunk the coffee.