What I wore.
Pussy cat, pussy cat, where have you been?
I've been down to Southbank to visit the Queen.
Pussy cat, pussy cat, what did you there?
I shook her hand with a flower in my hair!What a day!
When I received the official invitation a few weeks back, I was more than a little surprised.
The children’s brains were full of questions:
“What will you say?”
“What will you wear?”
“Do you get to touch her”
But my favorite one was this little convo:
Son 1 “Mum, is the Queen the old biddy one or the young hot one?”
Me “The older one.”
Son 2 “Which one is the one with the butt?”
So the boys had the day off school, my daughter was more than happy to go to school. Which resulted in tears all evening when she heard us retelling the story.
So, my day was a busy one as Premier’s Office had put me forward as an official contact for media.
Up at 4:30am to be ready for Today Show live cross with Alison Ariotti, who is so sweet and fun to be with. Over the past nearly 11 months we have become friends and baking advice is being thrown around on twitter between a few of us, including Mel Kettle of the blog The Cook’s Notebook. I saw photos on facebook back in December 2010 of the reporting work Alison did on the flooding in Bundaberg and Rockhampton. I know these reporters and the camera crews work very hard away from their families when there is work to be done. It looks all glam, but there are long emotional days and nights behind those smiles. She hasn't stopped since then I think, well except to get married and begin wifely duties of baking this year ;)
Alison and me. What a sensational spring morning! And look, we match!
Then to breakfast at Lure on Latrobe. The Vego Big Start is the best! Then home to rest my back (I had a fall a few weeks back and still recovering but that’s another story)
Time to get ready, throw on the dress and accessories and off to Parliament House after the boys and I packed some home made brownies, lemon muffins and sandwiches along with their board shorts to have a swim after they had stood in the sun for hours waiting for the Queen.
After being dropped at Parliament house I met up with Alison again for the run down on my outfit and then off for security checks and a cold drink. By coach under police esort the group made their way to QPAC where the Queen was to be welcomed from the boat.
The crowd was huge, but this was as close as we got.
You may remember John and Kathy Mahon which I have written about before, their video story of being rescued from their roof can be seen HERE
I knew they were attending also and it was fantastic to catch up with them along with many other families and groups which Baked Relief helped during the year.
John and Kath Mahon at the cloak room where we handed over everything including phones!
It was a fantastic experience meeting the Queen and the Duke. I can not believe their ages and how great they looked! I couldn’t even stand up for as long as they did during their visit to Brisbane without needing a rest. She looked lovely and Premier Anna Bligh did an outstanding job of introducing people to the Queen and Minister Strutters to the Duke. (no photos of this as we had nothing on us!)
After the event, a catch up with Alison for a Royal debrief, meet up with my boys and I was ready to go home and put my feet up.My boys wanted to constantly touch my hand which the Royals had touched.
It was a highly emotional day and one I will never forget.
What was my favorite part?
With tears in my eyes that night I shared with my man: seeing the joy and excitement on the faces of those who had lost so much and even lost their loved ones was the most wonderful experience to share with them. Their happiness was contagious.
Say what you will about the Monarch, but those families who stood there on Monday will remember that day for the rest of their lives. Hopefully that can take a touch of the sting away from the pain they have been through in 2011.
Click HERE to go to the Today Show video and see the cutest couple from Fernvale who were very badly affected and how Lynette with the help of friends and neighbours put her outfit together. They were so lovely. When her husband John was asked what his favorite part of the day was he said "Seeing how happy my wife was." That made me cry.