Don’t leave it all to the Brits. Celebrate the Diamond Jubilee right here in NYC
- Last Updated: 12:35 PM, June 4, 2012
- Posted: 10:54 PM, June 1, 2012
Starting today, Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II marks 60 years on the throne — and Diamond Jubilee celebrations from here to London are expected to generate more excitement than Pippa Middleton’s perky posterior.
With the spry 86-year-old now just three years away from passing Queen Victoria as Britain’s longest-reigning monarch, British Consul General Danny Lopez says 2012 is a momentous year for his people.
“If you’re a Brit, it won’t get more spectacular than this,” says Lopez, donning Union Jack cuff links in his Midtown office. “The Diamond Jubilee is huge, and the London 2012 [Olympics] are a few weeks after. The eyes of the world will be on us.”
And Anglophiles all over the Big Apple — home to an estimated 100,000 expats — are taking note, partaking in celebrations fit for, well, a queen.
Cousins Lilly and Hilary Gallo trekked to the city from Long Island on Thursday night to race in the Great British Run, a 6K (one kilometer to represent each decade of the queen’s reign) in Central Park hosted by the consul general.
“We were worried we’d get here, be the only non-Brits and not dressed up enough,” says Hilary, a 23-year-old law student, wearing a Union Jack headband and a fake handlebar mustache.
“And we like any excuse to draw tattoos,” she adds, pointing to the makeshift Union Jacks on her and her cousin’s arms.
Nearby, 47-year-old Martel Meyer, one of 1,000 participants, warms up for the run. “It’s a great year for England,” says the native of Colchester, England, and resident of East Hampton, LI. “I’m proud to represent my country.”
Clad in a sleeveless Union Jack shirt, Meyer displays a (real) tattoo of both the American flag and Union Jack on his right arm.
For those celebrating indoors, Linnea Johansson, author of the forthcoming “Perfect Parties: Tips and Advice From a New York Party Planner,” suggests a mix of Brit-themed food, drink and décor for hosting your own posh party. Try arranging peonies in teacups, she says, and doling out sweet-tea vodka and lemonade in the form of boozy alco-pops — in a chic American spin on serving tea.
She also suggests getting cheap straw sun hats and colorful art supplies for guests to decorate their own Jubilee hats.
“Everyone associates hats with royalty,” says the party expert.
Gin-based punches will transport guests to England, and tea sandwiches are ideal for nibbling.
“Try roast beef and horseradish cream, chicken and curry, and, of course, cucumber,” Johansson says. “And you can’t serve tea sandwiches without scones with jam and Devonshire cream.”
Whatever you do here, it’ll still be hard to top the royal revelry across the pond. There, festivities range from the queen’s appearance at today’s Epsom Derby — where she’ll chat up trainers and jockeys — to tomorrow’s Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant, with 1,000 boats rolling on the river.
Buckingham Palace will rock Monday night with an outdoor concert starring Brits Paul McCartney and Elton John and America’s own Stevie Wonder. On Tuesday, St. Paul’s Cathedral will host a Mass, where the royal family, including grandson Will and his wife Kate, will walk the queen down the aisle.
Meanwhile, ordinary subjects are tossing some 10,000 street parties across the UK.
And what would a Diamond Jubilee be without proper mementos? The popular British spread Marmite has been rebranded Ma’amite, reports the Telegraph, and Moët & Chandon is even releasing a special Diamond Jubilee cuvee that’ll make any tippler feel like a royal.
Now, all you’ll need to cap off the experience is to perfect that British accent. Cheerio!