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Ex-pat Brits gear up for royal jubilee
Photo: DPA

Ex-pat Brits gear up for royal jubilee

Published: 01 Jun 2012 07:00 GMT+02:00
Updated: 01 Jun 2012 07:00 GMT+02:00

This weekend sees the climax of the year-long celebrations of Queen Elizabeth II’s diamond jubilee - and in Germany it is not just the ex-pats who are gearing up for the festivities.

Unsurprisingly the British Embassy is at the centre of German-based celebrations. A concert of the ‘Embassy Singers’ is planned for Thursday evening in Berlin, while around 1,000 guests have been invited to a garden party in the Ambassador’s residence in Grunewald on June 7.

But perhaps the highlight of Germany’s ambassadorial celebrations will be Sunday’s Rhine flotilla, where 800 "Anglophile Rhinelanders" will join Ambassador Simon McDonald aboard the MS Rheinfantasie as she sails towards Düsseldorf.

They and others aboard more boats will take cucumber sandwiches and tea as the Queen herself simultaneously enjoys a similar naval parade on the Thames.

Many street parties have also been organised in British Army garrison locations like Paderborn and Bielefeld, several of them to coincide with an official day off for British Forces personnel on June 5.

One such jamboree, laid on by the British Legion in Bergen-Hohne in Lower Saxony, is expecting at least 150 guests. Party organiser Keith Orton told The Local that attendees would enjoy a classic British meal of fish and chips (eaten on tables bedecked with Union Flag tablecloths, naturally) washed down with liberal quantities of Pimm’s. That bash is scheduled for June 4.

Specialist British shops are enjoying a sales spike thanks to the celebrations. Sylvie Dimitrova, from A Taste of Britain in Frankfurt, told The Local that commemorative mugs have been flying off the shelves, with cider and salt and vinegar crisps among the most popular grocery items for those planning parties.

Rodney Young, from Pomeroy and Winterbottom in Munich, said that Union Flag paper plates and novelty crown-shaped tea-cosies were proving especially popular – but not necessarily with the buyers you might expect. "In my experience, most British expatriates are anti-monarchist," he revealed. "It’s native Germans who are buying the vast majority of the jubilee merchandise."

The Queen is a largely popular figure in Germany, where she has made four state visits, including a historic trip in 1965 that was the first such occasion since the World Wars. She has visited Düsseldorf, Hamburg and Munich, as well as Berlin, where in 1965 she inaugurated the annual Queen’s Lecture at the city’s Technical University.

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Your comments about this article

09:53 June 1, 2012 by Simon_Kellett
Does anyone think that the UK will one day develop it's Head of State system from the Middle Ages into one more suited to the 21st Century?
10:03 June 1, 2012 by bluestratus
why should we simon. the queen brings in millions of pounds to the uk in tourism etc. who wants to go to germany to see frau merkel??hello....
12:02 June 1, 2012 by iseedaftpeople
I too see little harm in having a monarch as the chiefly ceremonial head of state in a modern Western country.

As long as a country has a functioning democratic system, where power lies with the people, what can go wrong.

Oh, wait...
13:08 June 1, 2012 by LancashireLad
Indeed. There is no problem wth our constitutional Monarchy. The problem is the disproportional representation which elects the law and policy making body.
15:43 June 1, 2012 by Al uk
@simon kellet most people are very happy with the Queen and to be honest she has hardly put a foot wrong in all these years.

Who do you suggest instead, President Thatcher or President Blair perhaps?

No thank you!
16:20 June 1, 2012 by So36
Off with her head.
17:36 June 1, 2012 by Englishted
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
19:27 June 1, 2012 by Kennneth Ingle
Germany likes to see itself as a democratic republic, it is therefore rather strange to see the old aristocratical families still using their valueless titles. Also the democracy falls short, for example, the president is not elected by the people and the Euro was introduced although it was known that the majority of the population were against the new currency.

On the other hand, the British form of royal family is a luxury which the nation can only afford by reducing the purchasing power of social benefits, pensions etc.

Perhaps a suitable idea for both countries would be a King voted for by the electorate and only for a restricted term of office.
00:36 June 2, 2012 by raandy
Chango You speak as though you are the voice of the Nation. Englishted is correct ,you are a trash talker.

I assume you are or took this name from the defunct band you call yourself.
09:39 June 2, 2012 by catjones
As future monarchs become more 'common' and less 'regal', more public and less private they stand out as a reminder of a caste system of birth and entitlements that go beyond bling. You really can't remove the ribbon-cutting and extravagant parade gene from the Brit. Think of it as a historical entertainment tax....I'm just not sure who in the world deserves to be called 'Your Majesty'.
21:15 June 2, 2012 by andywindy
Catjones, It's true that the average Brit shows respect to the desendents of the family who killed off their rivals to get to the top, we always have done, it used to be safer that way!

It's just as true that we no longer HAVE to show that respect, (Heck, they're even plummeting down the Rich list now) but nowadays we chose to respect the Monarch for what She has done for the nation. Even the majority of all those 'Holidays' on the Britania were accompanied by trade delegations.. Note it was a socialist prime minister that insisted it be retired!

And if you hadn't noticed, even the BBC no longer refers to the Monarch as Her Majesty any more, just 'The Queen'. If you act Majestically you deserve to be reffered to as that, so what has she done wrong? (Metaphoric question, not meant to open a can of worms (or a tin of Corgi food). Just look at the list of all the Heads of State flocking round this week-end to get in on the act and hope that some of her magic rubs off! I'm a royalist and proud of it, I've got a Union Flag flying on my van, Heck even the Cornish won't torch that, Just you try living here and flying an English one!
22:01 June 2, 2012 by jamboree
where can one obtain commemorative items in the Rhineland?
12:18 June 3, 2012 by melbournite
The Queen good for tourism? oh well then fair enough.. cant we just stick her in a theme park in Milton Keynes charge gullible punters 10 quid to see her and redistribute her hoards of useless castles and wealth?
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