By Olivia Anderson | [email protected]
In honor of Queen Elizabeth II’s 70 years on the throne, Old Town Village transformed on Saturday into a spirited celebration consisting of British flags, desserts, tiaras, and of course, a cardboard cutout of the queen herself.
The neighborhood event included a parade and children’s party with arts and crafts, where both kids and adults were encouraged to dress “properly” in order to truly celebrate the occasion. Then, during the adult celebration, guests imbibed, tasted everything from the Victoria sponge cake to the coronation chicken – which was served during Queen Elizabeth II’s 1953 coronation – and took photos with the queen cutout.
Two British citizens and Old Town Village residents, Freda Woolridge and Paul Taylor, came up with the concept as a way to both celebrate the queen and bring together the townhouse community.
Taylor said the idea was inspired by the many street parties that occurred in celebration of the queen’s golden jubilee in 2002 and her coronation in 1952.
“So, we took the idea of having a street party. We thought, ‘Well, it would be nice to have one here. We’ve got a few Brits,’” Taylor said.
“We just thought it was a marvelous opportunity to celebrate the achievement of a wonderful human being,” Woolridge added.
Resident Betsy McCormack attended the event in a vibrant pink gown, jewelry and a sparkly tiara. While answering what brought her out that night, another partygoer walked by and complimented McCormack’s outfit.
“[What brought me out here is] being told that!” McCormack laughed. “I just thought this would be fun, you know? I don’t think I’ve ever worn this necklace before.”
Alexandria wasn’t the only place to celebrate the 96-year-old queen’s reign; an estimated one billion people around the world tuned in for the official “People’s Pageant” at Buckingham Palace on Sunday.
Queen Elizabeth II, who took the throne in February 1952, after her father, King George VI, passed away, is the first British monarch to reach a platinum jubilee, which marks 70 years on the throne.
“The queen has done a great job,” Woolridge said. “When she became queen, she made a commitment to her people, which included at the time a lot of countries around the tropics which form the Commonwealth, and she has kept that commitment. She’s been absolutely committed to her people.”