Pomp, Pageantry and Waving Crowds

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Kul Bhushan’s virtual trip to London for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

I returned from London this morning. Although living in New Delhi, for the past three days I was attending the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations – thanks to BBC’s non-stop live coverage. I got captivated with the pomp, pageantry and the waving crowds during the rain swept flotilla that went on for seven-eight hours. After a few hours, I wondered how long the Queen and Prince Philip can keep standing. Later, the Queen sat down but Prince Philip was ramrod straight like a true naval officer. But he is 92, for heaven’s sake! No wonder he was taken to the hospital later because he could not hold his horses!

The service at St. Paul’s was magnificent, followed by the lunch at Westminster and the grand procession in an open coach. Despite the threat of terrorism, the Queen has such an enormous goodwill that she can still go forth among her loyal subjects in an open landau!

I caught up with the concert late on Tuesday when it televised again and what a super entertainment it was…the top artists, the rib tickling comics with the wry British humour and topped by the tongue in cheek speech by Prince Charles who started off, Your Majesty… Mummy!”

Prince Charles, Camilla, Prince William, Kathy, Prince Harry were prominent, all the time but I kept wondering… Where were her other children – Anne, Andrew and Edward?

The BBC coverage has many exclusive shots and eminent Bruisers commenting on the event in addition to interaction with common people, some of whom has come from the far corners of the globe.

Since I was born just before WW II in British ruled India, and migrated to British ruled Kenya in the early Fifties, I have a strong connect with the British royalty. Arriving in Nairobi, I learnt about how Princess Elizabeth went to the wild game lodge, Treetops, as a princess and came down as queen when she learnt news of the death of her father. My first encounter was with Princess Margaret on safari Kenya as she took the railway from Nairobi to Mombasa. Her comment to Kenya’s Governor, Sir Evelyn Baring, still sticks in my mind, “See you later, alligator!”

Covering Kenya’s independence ceremony a newspaper correspondent, I will never forget the classic comment by Prince Philip just before he walked to the flagpole to bring down the Union Jack with President Kenyatta when he remarked, “Why don’t we just forget all about this?’ or words to this effect.

Later, as a newspaper editor, I covered a couple of safari holidays of Prince Charles, a state visit of the Queen and Prince Philip and happened to visit London during the Queen’s Silver Jubilee celebrations in 1977.

Although both India and Kenya as now independent nations, the old timers, like me, have a binding interest in the Royal Family that brings out the best of Britain.

Kul Bhushan for Osho News

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