A moment in history

From red, white and blue window displays, to Jubilee-themed cake making, how will you be celebrating this weekend?

UK flags
Getty/Ashley Cooper

Over the last month my personal emails have been chiming at an increased rate as everyone from my local supermarket, coffee shop and clothes store informs me about what they are doing to mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee weekend, and, importantly, how I can get involved and celebrate too – five Jubilee inspired puddings to craft this weekend anyone? (Email me if you would like the recipes).

Similarly, as I walk down my High Street, the windows of independent retailers – the butcher, the bread baker, the card seller and the optometry practice – have been adorned with red, white and blue displays.

And ever since I had a hand-delivered note posted through my letterbox two weeks ago informing me that the road I live on will be closed on Sunday, allowing residents to “come together and celebrate,” the street residents’ WhatsApp Group has sprung to life with a wave of Jubilee-related emojis and bunting making ideas – I’ve also personally enjoyed seeing PJ the corgi become ever increasingly present across Twitter.

In our lifetimes there are a handful of personal and historic moments that become etched in memory. The ones that you will always recall where you were the moment the news broke, for example. With people keen to celebrate this occasion with gusto, perhaps the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee could become one of them.

The reason for the celebrations is, of course, the Queen marking 70 years on the throne.
As the longest serving monarch in Britain’s history, she has marked many achievements during her reign. Having visited more than 115 countries, she is also the most well-travelled monarch in history. Her charitable work, which is wide ranging and has a strong focus on opportunities for young people, as well as the preservation of wildlife and conservation, has taken her around the globe.

The importance of vision, in particular avoidable blindness and sight loss, has not gone unnoticed by the Queen during her reign. In 2012 she launched The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust, a charitable foundation that over a five-year period sought to eliminate avoidable blindness across the Commonwealth, while also empowering young leaders.

Heavily involved in the work with the Trust were Sightsavers, Peek Vision, the Fred Hollows Foundation, Clearly and the International Coalition for Trachoma Control, who used their skills and knowledge to help tackle three major causes of sight loss in Commonwealth countries: trachoma, diabetic retinopathy, and retinopathy prematurity.

Designed to complete its goals within a five-year timeframe, the Trust closed its doors in 2020, having made great strides in its mission. In a forward about the Trust’s achievements and its legacy, the Countess of Wessex, shared that, “in every region of the Commonwealth, eye health services were strengthened, so that people – from premature babies to the elderly – do not lose their sight.”

Furthermore, she reported that 11 million people living in the Commonwealth were no longer at risk of going blind from trachoma.

With the long weekend now upon us, how will you be celebrating the Jubilee? We would love to see and hear what you are up to in practice. Have you revamped your window display, will your staff be adorned in red, white and blue? Share your pictures with us by emailing: [email protected]