What are the Brits celebrating this weekend?
They are rejoicing at the fact that Queen Elizabeth II has been on the throne for 60 years this year, having inherited the job upon the death of her father, George VI, in 1952. It is a bit confusing because George ("Bertie" of King’s Speech fame) actually died in February 1952, but the actual formal coronation did not take place until June the following year (1953). But, let’s face it, you can’t really have a party in London in February.
In honor of the Queen's Big Day,
I threw together some tea treats to enjoy while watching the Jubilee Pageant.
The Tunnock's Teacake is a sweet food popular in the United Kingdom. They are often served with a cup of tea. The product consists of a small round shortbread biscuit covered with a dome of Italian meringue, a whipped egg white concoction similar to marshmallow. This is then encased in a thin layer of milk and wrapped in a red and silver foil paper for the more popular milk chocolate variety.
Viscount biscuits are a classic British biscuit which consist of a circular base of biscuit, topped with a creamy mint flavor and covered with a layer of milk chocolate. They are made by Burton's Foods. Viscounts are known for their shiny foil wrappers which have different colors depending on the biscuit inside—mint biscuits are contained within a green foil wrapper.
The traditional cucumber sandwich is composed of paper-thin slices of cucumber placed between two thin slices of crust-less, lightly (unsalted) buttered white bread. I also slighted salted and flavored the cumbers in rice vinegar over night for an extra something.
Modern variants of tea-sandwiches (largely of American origin) exist, involving cream cheese. So, I had some onion and chives cream cheese and I added some sweet cheery tomatoes.
A quintessential part of the British way of life ... scones!
I made original and strawberry scones.
With toppings: proper Devonshire Creme and Lemon Curd. Yum!
60? Isn’t a diamond anniversary 75?
It used to be. Traditionally, the golden anniversary was 50 years, and the diamond anniversary of a person or event was on the 75th birthday. This changed with the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria, the only other British monarch to have spent 60 years on the throne. There was considerable national unrest when Queen Victoria withdrew from public life after Albert’s death in 1861, and it was therefore decided to bring her Diamond Jubilee forward–by 15 years!—to the 60th anniversary in 1897. A diamond anniversary is now usually the 60th, not the 75th, much to the delight of jewelers everywhere.
It looked like a chilly and rainy/damp day with not a peep of sunshine (brrr!) during the Jubilee Pageant.
That iconic London landmark, Tower Bridge, is opening to allow the sovereign to pass through, as the rain pours down.
Over 1,000 boats making their way down the river, in an extraordinary spectacle, for the Diamond Jubilee riverboat pageant on the Thames. (The entire procession takes 70 minutes to pass by)