Anyway, everybody already spoke to their neighbours in 2002, at the Golden Jubilee when it was easier to convince us a street party would be vintage and fun and twee. This is not because the general public hates the Queen, though frankly 3 Jubilees is greedy, but because they presume to hate their neighbours and there’s no telling how many people have touched that cucumber sandwich.
Queen Elizabeth II, known for her position as an Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and her star turn, as herself, in Roald Dahl’s The BFG is going to press on with the celebrations. I think the stationery’s been ordered and stuff so it’s best to put a brave face on it once the planning has got to such an advanced stage. Fancy dinners ahoy.
For us proles though the Jubilee or any major Royal event can be a touch dull. Or even a tad annoying. Because we won’t be privy to any eccentric bon mots shared in the privacy of Windsor Castle we have to make do with Barbara-across-the-road in a Union Jack wig saying something slightly questionable about the British being truly British. We can be forgiven, therefore, for wishing to avoid all mention of the Diamond Jubilee.
Googling “how to avoid the Diamond Jubilee” brought up no advice. I am an unwitting pro at such things (if such a level is possible). As William and Kate exchanged vows in the shadow of Pippa’s derriere I was on the Eurostar drinking M&S cava and eating chocolate éclairs. It was weeks later before I even saw a Pippa. You are in safe, oblivious hands.
So here is our Squeamish step by step guide to avoiding the Diamond Jubilee.
Step 1 Denial, denial, denial. Look, it would be unhealthy of us to suggest you just stay in. So you’re going to have to create a mental bubble that stops the Union Jack from registering. That red, white and blue cross design? Gaudy! Those people wearing curious sunglasses? Unhinged! Those giant padded hats? Unseasonal!
Step 2 Get an all-consuming hobby. At the weekend Squeamish Louise and I attended a Roller Derby bout. Spending the day in a hall with beer and doughnuts on sale, alongside roller skates, we had no real reason to leave until, well until it was time to leave. When I arrived home at 2am I realised there had been some Champions League football game. Which, had I simply met with friends down the pub, I would have found hard to avoid now pub TVs are mandatory. Track down a convention being held in a soulless hall near you and avoid all Jubilee celebrations.
Step 3 Holiday. Leave the country. Be careful regarding your destination though. I’ve done some research and you will be flying smack bang into Diamond Jubilee-o-rama with the following members of the Royal Family in the following destinations:
The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall: Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge: Malaysia, Singapore, Solomon Islands, Tuvalu
Prince Harry: Belize, Jamaica, The Bahamas
The Duke of York: India
The Earl and Countess of Wessex: Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Gibraltar, Grenada, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago
The Princess Royal: Mozambique, Zambia
The Duke of Gloucester: British Virgin Islands, Malta
The Duke of Kent: Falkland Islands, Uganda
I would hate for you to take my advice only to find yourself face to face with the Duke of York at customs. The feeling you’d been somehow tricked by a member of the Royal Family would be hard to shake and I’d understand if you never forgave me.
Step 4 Have a birthday. Preferably a landmark birthday like your 21st or 30th. This way you can have a huge day of celebration that’s all about you. If anybody questions the legitimacy of the occasion you can tell them that the Queen has 2 birthdays and so can you. Especially if, like the Queen, your real birthday falls in a month known for inclement weather.
Perhaps, dear reader, you are rather an ardent Royalist, or a fan of the Queen at least. If this is the case these steps can also be applied to avoiding the Olympics with a simple alteration to step 1. Those rings? Why, that’s the sign for a magician’s convention specialising in in mystifying trick of magic linking rings… Gosh the budget these magicians must have.