“It had to be something really special to get me up at 6:30am on a weekend! On Sunday 12 June, Y10 Kaylee Southward and I, along with 1,500 others, took part in the Patron’s Lunch Parade to celebrate the Her Majesty the Queen’s 90th birthday. People of all ages and nationalities took part. We represented the Royal Academy of Dance.
The Patron’s Lunch was a huge street party and the highlight of the day was our parade, which represented the different organisations and charities of which the Queen is patron. Each section was based on a decade from Her Majesty’s reign. Kaylee and I were in the 1960s. There were 10000 people on The Mall alone and others were watching on big screens in different parks. It was also televised; there were 19 BBC cameras to record the event.
We were very lucky to live near London, as people from Scotland also attended - quite a long journey! Once we arrived at the venue, it started raining. But nothing would dampen everyone’s spirits! We collected our matching t-shirts, ponchos and props and received a briefing from the organisers. After that, we had a quick rehearsal with the gospel choir and bands before getting in position to begin the first parade.
At 12noon, we started the first parade. The group that were depicting the 1950s began. Then it was us! Rustling in our ponchos, rain pouring down, we danced the set choreography with the fantastic choir ahead of us. The people who were in the street party and others dotted along by St James’ Park cheered us on and some even tried to harmonise with the gospel choir!
After about an hour and a half, we ended the first parade. We ate lunch (which was a free M&S packed lunch with as many Percy Pigs and chocolate bars as you could eat!!), chatted to other dance schools and took photos. Then we began the second, most important, parade.
The Royal Family, along with millions of others, watched as we danced down the Mall. Luckily by then the rain had actually cleared up and sun was beginning to shine. We repeated the sequence seventy times altogether in our loop around London (my friend counted them all!).
We had a fantastic time and I hope the Queen enjoyed our efforts. We have the t-shirt and wrist bands as a memento, but even without them I know that nobody will ever forget about this experience. All that is left to say is Happy Birthday, Your Majesty!”
Alex Barrington Y7