Diamond Jubilee Monday in Gibraltar

Monday must be flotilla day.

Launching, if flotillas launch, perhaps they depart, at 12 noon from Ocean Village.

We would leave at 11.30am, I proclaimed, for a leisurely stroll down.

Pippa, on hearing this, promptly jumped up at 11am and demanded to go out. This performance consists of a very large dog twirling around in circles in an extremely small flat cleverly managing to avoid all pieces of furniture. How, I have no idea.

While they went out, I jumped in the shower. I jumped out again. They still weren’t back at 11.30am.

He’d met a neighbour who was going to watch the flotilla up at Rosia. Apparently there would be a good view of them coming around the Bay of Algeciras.

We changed plans. Rosia was nearer, we agreed (wrong!!). He set off as he didn’t want to rush and I tend to walk extremely fast if we are late.

I rang him up. ‘Why don’t we just go to Queensway Marina to watch them?’ Even nearer. Even more of a wrong decision than Rosia.

We walked down to the marina, and realised our mistake (mine). I’d totally forgotten about all the moles that obscure the view of the boats.

Queensway Marina

Here was a fine boat. As this weekend is all about flying the flag, here is the Red Ensign. The ensigns always confuse me. Apparently the Admiralty thought they were confusing too. More about ensigns, or a least the Red Ensign on wiki.

Red Ensign on ‘Signe’

We set off for Rosia. I started legging it. We could have been down to Ocean Village in half the time.

RN presence at the naval dockyard
My favourite flag, Gib superimposed over the Union Flag, for the tercentenary

Arriving at 5th Battery – just in time – we saw the boats sweeping around the bay.

The head of the flotilla passing Rosia

Although this looks like the railings come out of the sea, it was actually a gun emplacement on the battery. And the hole was large enough to fall through – it was a long way down.

View from 5th Battery

They were aiming to get 100 boats in the flotilla, but I stopped counting after 50. I would have thought 60 would have been the correct goal and any more would have been a bonus. Every time I thought it had finished a few more crept around the bay. And then there were the sailing boats bringing up the rear.

Sailing boats avoiding the huge tanker
Sailing ….without a sail?

Very nice. Toot toot toot they went. All keeping very nicely within the three mile limit of the British Gibraltar Territorial Waters.

In Britain and Gibraltar, we have a super long weekend. Normally we have a late bank holiday on the last Monday in May, commonly known in old speak as Spring Bank. This year, it was moved to the first Monday in June, and today Tuesday 5 June is actually the official Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Holiday.

Interestingly, Liz became Queen in 1952 in February on the death of her father. I think everyone knows the story (or maybe not) about how she was in Kenya at the time en route for a trip down under. That was on the 6th of February. It wasn’t until more than a year later than she was crowned, on 2 June 1953.

So that explains why the coronation is celebrated on 2 June but the anniversary years date back to 1952.

Here in Gib we always celebrate her accession, her birthday, Prince Philip’s birthday, anything else really, with a gun salute because we like to remind the Spanish that we have working guns we like to commemorate our British heritage.

Returning home to view my neighbours’ house decked out with union flags

And last night Gib joined in the beacon thing where some 4000 places around the world lit a beacon for the jubilee. Except I was asleep at 10pm – so no pix of that one.

Post coming up about monarchy on Clouds…

and here we are..

51 comments on “Diamond Jubilee Monday in Gibraltar

  1. hi. i like your blog about gibraltar, a place i find intriguing, but one i do not full well understand, yet. so please don’t mind if i try to learn a little more through your words and images. thanks :)


    • Thanks alessandro – your photos on your blog are superb. Love them. Happy for people to learn about gib from my blog, that’s one of the main reasons for writing it. We do have Italian ancestry here in Gib, especially Genoa. Hope you find something to interest you.


  2. Got some great photo’s fro the memory, and a little bit of exercise as well. Your weather looked a lot better than ours. A good post enjoyed it. thanks..


  3. Looks like you guys had a super long weekend, we in South East England did not. It manged to rain every day, Saturday to Tuesday and the warmest it got all weekend was about 16 degrees.


      • I found the North American habit of referring to both male and female as ‘guys’ SO confusing in the beginning! It happened online, and I thought the person in question had misunderstood something and believed I was male. Now I know!


          • Will go and read. I’m afraid I got caught up in it a bit since I came here … had never thought about gender specific language before, but I’m thinking of it now. Some things creep up on you easier than others … if you don’t watch out. I got sort of a ‘sinking feeling’ when I read that comment, because I realized it could just as well have been written by me.

            David would indeed be proud. The first thing he did when we arrived in Harrow, was to bring out his old essays from school, and show them to me. His father, had been some kind of university professor in Oxford, I believe it was, and the whole bunch of them spoke a beautiful Queens English :D


          • I started thinking about it years ago but you’ve read the post so you realised it was tied up with journalism.

            Defaulting to the male of anything though is really sexist. There is no need for it. But this is a comment not a post, of which I can write much more.

            I am now fascinated with the David thing! Oxford professor? Queen’s English? And an anti-eveything? Hope he’s happy where he is now :)


          • no, his father, not David, was the professor … I think it was Oxford, but I’m not sure now. David went to Oxford, at least..


  4. Lol, I can just see Pippa, isn’t it funny how dogs behave when they’re excited?
    The thought of you both deciding where to view the flotilla, this way, that way, I have images of you circling like Pippa.
    Great pics, I can really feel the warmth From them
    A good long weekend here, but nothing like your wonderful weather to enjoy it in.


    • Ha! P doesn’t do excited – just demands to go out. NOW!!
      The flotilla thing would have been a disaster, except, Rosia was beautiful and a lovely walk up there.
      It was warm though, you were right with that. A forgot a hat so has retrieved Tilley from LR


  5. Lots of great pictures…looks like a lovely day..
    Can I ask why so much celebration for a Queen? Seems The UK is in financial straits like we are.


    • My first answer – although I don’t have a definitive one, so these are more guesses – would be it’s a historic occasion. The second longest serving monarch (after Victoria) and she may or may not manage 70 years. By and large she is still pretty popular. We’ve also had a royal family for a long time, so I guess it is a part of British life, a bit like tea or fish and chips.

      I think the world is in a poor economic situation, thanks to an awful lot of greedy bankers, and politicians. But this isn’t a political post, so less said on that one (for once!)

      No idea what the UK party cost, but I doubt it was expensive here in Gib. Certainly the flotilla would have been minimal, a couple of official escort boats – the rest of it would have been down to individuals. People owning boats aren’t usually poor.

      A fancy dress parade the day before for children? Dance performances by children and teenagers? A band? And a collection to send water to Africa? I doubt any of that would have cost the tax-payer too much.

      We joined in the daytime activities because Gib is a small place and we like to support the local community that we live in. While I have no strong views either way about the queen, I do want to support local events that people have put time and effort into organising.

      In times of adversity I guess a party doesn’t harm?


        • I only asked about cost (not in Gib as much as the UK) because I know here in the US so many politicians and celebrations can cost millions and I see so many ways that money could be used better.. I’m all for celebrations, just not when so many are without..
          PS- I loved the flotilla!!!!


          • Valid question, and V’s link was interesting.

            I read a quote where she wanted the cost of the celebrations to be minimal from the public purse.

            People will always be without. Sadly. I wrote more on Clouds but some of the stuff I didn’t add was her alleged disaprovement of war involvement. I don’t think she’s too bad in the scheme of things.


        • Tell me about it :roll:
          If I wasn’t retired, I wouldn’t have had any time off at all…………shop owners can’t miss out on a sale.


  6. A flotilla is a great way to celebrate anything – in Sydney the yachties are out on the harbour sailing on Wednesday afternoons just because they can. I’m not much of a boatie but I enjoy looking aout the window & seeing them there just as I enjoyed looking at your photos. Ahh, the Diamond Jubilee celebrations – I’m starting to wonder if I’m just a little bit enjoying the discomfiture of those who are not sure what it’s all about or why. It’s simple. Like any party an occasion is fixed, guests are invited, decorations put up, fun is had, and the real world will still be waiting when it’s over. To be fair I’ve also been enjoying the pleasure of those I’ve encountered who delight in it all:)


    • One of my outstanding memories is watching the Sydney to Hobart. So spectacular. Can’t even remember where we watched it from, I just remember walking miles to get there (obviously a pattern for me with boats!!).

      I think I’m softening up as I get older – why not celebrate it? If my staunch anti-royalist partner was keen to do so, then it must be about more than monarchy. But sadly today is Wednesday. And it’s all over. I think it should have been a week of party myself.

      Hoping you take some pix of anything in Sydney. Australia – the hotbed of anti-royalty and republicanism!!


  7. Isn’t it funny how small dogs can be if they want to! Chuckling over that circling dance.
    I like the flag with Gib over the Union Jack,too – good proportions and design.
    Would have liked to have seen all the boats (always hated sailing near the tankers…wind is flukey as they block it and they are so big…and can’t stop either…shiver)
    Thanks for taking us along


    • Ever since he rescued us I have always been surprised by a huge sleepy dog’s ability to quickly turn on a sixpence. He’s tripped us both up more than once with his fast moves.

      I like that flag and realised the reason I couldn’t find one in the shops because it was produced in 2004 :( Perhaps I could make my own by buying one of each of different sizes?

      Some of those yachts got well near the tanker(s). It was also quite breezy too. But still, no incidents that we saw, so that was good.

      It was lovely, more pix from the same day to come, on here and everypic.


  8. It’s so interesting to read about Gibraltar! So much history … the wings of history must slap you in the face wherever you go! I had not paid all that much attention to Gibraltar before — my partner has been there and one of my friends — now I realize that is definitely a place I’d love to see in real life.

    Great shot of those railings!


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