...began with an early telephone call from the BBC which resulted in my rushing up to London to take part in a TV news debate about the Anglicans having voted to have lady bishops. Then home, and just time to tackle various letters and routine work before scrambling into Best Clothes (outfit carefully chosen by my sister-in-law and small niece, determind to make sure Auntie Joanna didn't let the family down...) and off to Buckingham Palace.
A Garden Party at the Palace is tremendous. Vast numbers of people - some in uniform, a sight never seen in London normally as members of the Armed Forces haven't been allowed to wear their uniforms in public since the start of the IRA bombings more than three decades ago - some in national dress (Scotsmen in kilts, Africans in great robes, sheiks in flowing headgear), most in morning-dress and general elegance...the HATS, oh the lovely, glorious HATS!!!
Military bands playing, Yeomen of the Guard marching in, a tea-tent dispensing delicious sandwiches and slices of Victoria Sponge with freshly-brewed Tea and excellent iced coffee...and a superb, beautifully-timed moment when the band's music drew gently to a close, and everyone rose. The Queen and Prince Philip came out briskly on to the terrace in the sunshine, and halted there...and the glorious surge of the National Anthem filling the air, and everyone stock-still and the music soaring:"God save the Queen!"