On Tuesday 5th June, The Wardens and I had a wonderful time at the Queen’s Jubilee lunch at Westminster Hall in the Houses of Parliament. The Lunch was hosted by The Livery Companies and the City of London and included some 700 guests representing the companies’ abundant trades and professions. The National Children’s Orchestra of Great Britain performed as the Queen arrived at Westminster Hall.
The grand setting for the Diamond Jubilee banquet
Master Mercer Thomas Sheldon welcomed the Queen, praising her ‘unstinting’ devotion to duty. ‘Much has changed in the last six decades. But it has been the age of Elizabeth,’ he told the guests. ‘You embody the very best of our national values. You are our constant in a changing world.’
The Prince of Wales, the Duchess of Cornwall, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry also attended the meal.
At the request of the Lord Great Chamberlain, our guests on the Surveyors table included representatives from Society, and we invited guests from the affiliates of the armed forces, our schools and the CSTT apprentices and Ironbridge.
From left to right: Major Michael James RE(V), Squadron Leader Stuart Talton RAuxAF, Roger Southam (Senior Warden), Mickola Wilson (Master), Anna Brennand (Ironbridge), Liz Edwards (Junior Warden), Major Michael James RE(V), Azaan Akbar (Robert Clack student), Lt Mark Rowbotham RN (representing HMS Echo), Junaid Oughradar (apprentice representing CSTT), Elizabeth Sims (headmistress, Archbishop Tenison's School)
The luncheon was absolutely splendid occasion, with most of the immediate Royal Family there who sat on individual tables rather than just a top table, we were next to Prince Charles and were able to admire the outfits of the ladies, The Queen, Duchess of Cornwall and Duchess of Cambridge as they came into the Hall and processed out of the North Door at the end of the luncheon – promptly at 2.30.
The menu included Cornish crab, Cambrian Mountain Lamb and a Sympathy of Desserts and was delicious. The wines, which I have been asked to give you details included:
• Sancerre Jean-Paul Picard, Bue, Loire Valley France 2011
• Chateau Cap de Faugeres, Cotes de Castillion Bordeaux France 2007 – which I am told were exceptionally good.
The Junior Warden and I wore hats and the Senior Warden, looking very dashing in his morning suit, compromised and wore his WCCS bowtie.
This occasion was definitely the highlight of my year as Master and it was a great pleasure to invite our guests, who also appreciated this once in a lifetime event.
The Master, Liz Sims head mistress of Archbishop Tennison School and The Junior Warden
The Senior Warden
Azaan Akbar and Junaid Oughradar
Major Michael James RE(V) Lt Mark Rowbotham, RN (representing HMS Echo), Squadron Leader Stuart Talton, RAuxAF