Friday, January 1, 2010

The Big Launch!

What a day it’s been! January 1st started off with my husband Bill driving me to Annapolis Royal to our good friends Lillian and John who very kindly lent us their van for the next few hours so the queen could be transported without damage to the gown. Then it was off to St. Luke’s Church Hall to get gowned and crowned up. Linda, our team leader was there making sure things were moving as they aught to. Millie had all the costumes in order and every safety pin in Annapolis Royal to hand – we needed most of them. And the gown was magnificent.

Amery was there getting dressed in her wonderful gown – she looked like a million bucks.

Jon and Wayne got into their duds and wigs. Ken was there with his camera as was Bill with ours – he took today’s pictures. Peter was there in his Town Crier’s costume.

This was the first time I was allowed to see the wig and crown. I needed to sit down and we needed a mirror so Millie and I commandeered the women’s washroom and there it was in all its splendour! Millie worked with our local sculptor Brad to get the crown she wanted and her partner Jon (one of my footmen) did the gilding and the jewelry. Millie did the fur and the velvet cap inside. It is truly an amazing work. And it wasn’t heavy. The wig was something else - thanks to Ken. The royal jewels looked fantastic – thanks to Rhonda.

The time came and my crier got out his bell and rang us into the hall where Bishop Sue Moxley was holding her levĂ©e. He hollered “Make way for our Queen! Make way for our Queen!” Then there was me, then there was the Duchess of Marlborough, and then the footmen Jon and Wayne. People applauded as we came in. We went through the Bishop’s receiving line and they were all most gracious. Remember this marks the 300th anniversary of the first Anglican service held in Canada. The Queen sent a box of her chocolates to the Bishop and the Mayor. There were lots of pictures taken including one by a little girl in pink who – I think – got a camera for Christmas and wanted a picture of the Queen. People were very kind and said nice things and there were curtseys and bows and nods and smiles.

Then we were “cried out” of the hall, the crown was removed and we headed for the Legion. What a rigamarole getting me into the van! One of the footmen was sent to get a footstool and then there were three people holding the gown, holding the cape and me falling into the back seat. Off we went to the Legion where the back doorway stairs were pretty slippery. So with a footmen on either side and the duchess holding bits of the gown and Millie carrying the crown in its wonderful box, made our way into the hall. Millie got the crown back on and my hair tucked in again to the wig. We set sail once again with Peter ringing the bell and doing his “Make way for our Queen! Make way for our Queen!” piece, we entered the Legion proper. There were a few speeches by the mayor of Annapolis Royal, the deputy warden of Annapolis County, the new lady president of the Legion and our MLA, the leader of the opposition, Stephen McNeil. It was lovely seeing everyone.

And it was off to Westside Studio for official photos for the Queen’s portrait. Rick took oodles of pictures and then Larry from The Spectator (our weekly newspaper) came in and took oodles more pictures. Amery did a piece on the Queen’s gown and he will have accompanying photos now. We’ll have to watch for that.

Then it was “fall” back in the van and back to the church hall to be divested of all the finery and take the van back and then home for a long nap! Fortunately the snow storm held off long enough for all today’s events to go off without a hitch.

The next big appearance will be on February 6 when we celebrate the Queen’s birthday with a dinner and music at the Annapolis Royal Golf and Country Club.

Happy New Year All!