The Isle of Wight has had strong ties with royalty ever since Queen Victoria, the last monarch to celebrate a diamond jubilee, made Osborne House her home in 1845. This year HRH Queen Elizabeth II has included the Island on her Jubilee tour and we’re pushing the boat out to celebrate her 60th year on the throne in June.
Following in the footsteps of the Royals
Queen Victoria is returning to Osborne House from Sunday 3rd to Tuesday 5th June and you will be able to travel back in time to Victorian England and wave your flags at the colourful pomp and ceremony of the grand parade led by the lancers and Red Coats outside the house. There will be a horse show, traditional Victorian games, a brass band and you can meet colourful characters from the past.
Queen Victoria used to take her carriage over to Ventnor to take afternoon tea at the Royal Hotel and on Monday 4th June they will be holding a Royal Jubilee Garden Party on the lawns. There will be champagne on arrival, sweet and savoury canapés throughout the afternoon, traditional scones with cream and strawberry jam and classical music from the Forelands Quartet. This is an occasion to dress up and the wearing of hats is thoroughly encouraged with the High Sheriff presenting a prize for the best one. The fancy dress theme for the children is ‘Kings and Queens of Britain’ and there will be prizes for the best costume as well as goodie bags for the little ones.
Making a Do of It
The Queen and Prince Philip were frequent visitors to Cowes in the Royal Yacht Britannia, the Prince used to sail in Cowes Week and the younger royals still get involved. In recognition the combined Cowes Clubs are organising a Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Regatta over the Jubilee weekend with various social events at the clubs to accompany the action on the water. IW Radio are hosting a full day ‘family fun extravaganza’ at Northwood House on Monday 4th June with food, frolics and lots of great Island bands including the brilliant Bees and headliners Level 42, fronted by Islander Mark King.
Prince Albert built his own yacht club in Ryde, the Prince Consort, and was a frequent visitor and Queen Victoria and her family would visit the annual carnival. To celebrate the jubilee the town is having a huge vintage/retro event at Appley Park, which will have a ‘pop-up’ high street themed around the coronation year of 1953. Celebrations include a ‘Cool Britannia’ parade on Saturday 2nd June with a vintage cocktail party in the evening at Appley Park, a vintage tea party alongside the Big Lunch on Sunday with a Mardi Gras party in the evening and a grand firework display with the lighting of a beacon on Monday evening. Throughout the weekend there will be beach activities, magicians, circus performers, a 50s Lambretta ride out, art in the park, therapies and much more.
Getting Down to Street Level
Perhaps the smartest of the street parties will be the one being held on the driveway of Westover house in Calbourne on Tuesday 5thJune with other festivities planned in the village over the weekend.
Just up the road at Brighstone everyone is invited to join in a large Street Party at the lower end of Wilberforce Road that kicks off on Monday 4th June 2012 at 3pm with a parade of Kings and Queens. Each person attending the party is asked to buy a Plate for £1 from the Village Shop or Brighstone Community Library – pick a red or blue plate, choosing the type of food you prefer to bring on the day.
Whitwell now has the go ahead for a street party after a local girl wrote to the Queen for permission. It’s in Kemming Road on Sunday 3rd June starting at 1pm with food, a bar, live music, traditional games and a hog roast.
Bembridge has a street party on Sunday 3rd June in the High Street and a Street Fayre in the High street from 2pm on Monday 4th June along with a whole weekend of other activities.
Yarmouth too have a weekend of celebrations planned including a children’s party on the green on Saturday, a river pageant on Sunday and a Beacon lighting on Monday evening.
There’s a Vintage Tea Party being organised by Wootton Bridge Parish Council at the Village Square, from 2pm to 4pm and on Friday 1st June Sandown library is hosting a vintage tea party with a jubilee theme with staff dressing in 1950s style and encouraging customers to do the same.