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Quote of the day; ‘It is legal because I want it.’ - Louis XVI

A big day here today.

I’ve been a bit quiet on the communicating front. Been beavering away with two steps forward, one step back. It got to the stage when I was so teed off, I sulkily withdrew, trying to concentrate on constructive stuff rather than whingeing.

But today’s Big Day Event has cheered me no end.

For the first time in nearly a year, I attempted and am able to do a half plank and a shoulder bridge without excruciating nerve pain. Hopefully this is now indicative that things are on the up and I really will be able to get back to living a relatively unrestricted life.

Baby steps.

Pilates has played a massive part in my life over the last 25 years - I am certain that without doing so much of it, I would have crumbled long ago. I also have no doubt whatsoever that having so much Pilates experience has significantly improved and speeded my recovery process, despite how it sometimes feels.

A big day too last weekend. There’s no doubt at all that the British do pomp and circumstance like no other nation. Everything was timed to perfection, although if it wasn’t, we were none the wiser. A feast of colour and spectacular precision.

The colours were amazing but not for me the royal blue on the horses manes and tails. I understand incorporating it was an inclusive thing as regards Union flags, however it didn’t work for me. Inclusivity was the name of the day, apparently.

Where I did like the royal blue though was in the Abbey. But, and it’s a huge one for me, whether intended or no, despite the definite nod towards supporting Ukraine, that gold was not gold at all. Mustard yellow. Definitely mustard yellow. It distracted me continually as I watched the incredible service unfold.

There was something rather moving but unnerving about seeing KC3 being divested. How far were they going to go? Although we knew what was going on behind the screen, I for one, couldn’t help but wonder why it needed to be screened off. He was only having a daub of oil smeared on his chest FFS. Not sure what necessitated the mystique and secrecy. Intimacy with God? My eye!

Undoubtedly though, it was a magnificent day and I hope the old boy fares well. Lawks, he waited long enough to get his hands on the prize.

I would always historically have considered myself a royalist - much sneered at and derided by the pro-republican vox pop. Definitely a dinosaur in their eyes. Now? I’m not so much at all.

That final day when the old Queen was failing, I was incredibly upset. We all knew her time had come and we were facing the end of an era.

For my part, the exemplary grace and dignity she bestowed upon her dutiful role was unquestionable. She was all most of us had ever known as the UK figurehead and most public figure. She endured.

Yes, there were times when either Queenie’s judgement or her advisers got it painfully and archaically wrong. Showing their privileged lifestyles were way, way out of kilter with the masses and general public in this current era.

But she did it, and did it well for the most part, for over 70 years. Imagine any one of us staying in the same job for 70 years?

The French simply don’t get it. We had several conversations at the time of the late Queen’s demise, where Les Français attempted to understand the affinity and affection many people, including myself, felt for her. Try as they might, it doesn’t compute. I’m sure her death touched parts of me that could not fail to directly be affected by losing my own mother: she was also a very great age, physically very similar in facial appearance and stature to the late Queen, had been there all my life. It felt like losing my mother all over again, yet I never met E2R, or so much as sniffed at the gates of Buckingham Palace. Intriguingly though, there is a direct blood connection with the infamous George IV, along with thousands of others, but I won’t be appearing on the balcony any time soon.

Unsettlingly, there is now a huge part of me that is feeling more uncomfortable with the whole privilege thing.

It’s the hangers on that trouble me a great deal. If the UK has to have a Royal Family, then it seriously needs scaling down and overhauling. I hope that KC3’s legacy will be he does exactly that. For so many of them that clutch to the coattails of privilege, their lives could not be further from our own. Not for them the worry of mortgage arrears as you await the ratatattat of the bailiff upon the door you optimistically call your home, or the alarm that one mediocre carrier bag of shopping can now easily set you back £50.

I’m not sure I liked the way he swaggered up the aisle on Saturday, but Harry has taken his own steps to get this underway with his inelegant but courageous extraction from it all. That having been said, I urge we all just leave him alone now and just let him make his own way?

KC3 may not be every UK person’s choice. He’s there because fate decided it. An accident of birth, in exactly the same way as all us lesser mortals aren’t wearing a crown or only have mostly one house to lay our heads, if we are lucky enough indeed to have a roof over us. Despite this, many more people support the monarchy than voted to elect the current government.

What I cannot deal with is this tomfoolery that he is there because God chose him and he has a connection to the Man himself. I don’t hold with any of that nonsense.

Nevertheless, it gave me a reason to sit and watch a shining example of The Royal Machine in action. And how I loved the music, the colour, the drama and the centuries of tradition that were honoured but gently coaxed towards the 21st century.

As is tradition in our house, at the end of every event as a family we always dissect and discuss, coming up with worst bits, best bits and funniest bits.

Worst bits for me: The mustard carpet with bile overtones,

The Harry Swagger,

The fact that so much of the route appeared to keep Joe Public even more at arms length than usual.

Best bits: The music, particularly Zadok the Priest. Breathtaking,

Tradition honoured, and history made with elegance and beauty, the like of which I will probably never see again,

Thousands of members of the armed services trampling over the Palace lawn singing the National Anthem.

Funniest bits: Being unable to shake off the image of Camilla in my mind, with a fat cigar in her mouth, as Jimmy Savile’s double, saying ‘How’s about that then?’

With the absolute standout winner being BBC TV’s Clare Balding stating that: “The Princess Royal exits left and is now being mounted”.



Hi, thanks for stopping by!

I’m Jill, a RHS gold medal winning English professional gardener, garden designer and landscaper living in South West France since 2012. This is a personal account of my gardening life, some of the jolly and occasionally not so jolly japes that ensued while working, that probably caused my subsequent back problems.

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