Hang out the flags, dig out the bunting and get ready for a right royal knees-up! A Diamond Jubilee is a once-in-a-lifetime event – so make sure that your celebrations go as smoothly as the Queen’s state carriage with our top-class Jubilee party tips.
Consider one’s guests
You don’t need to provide lavish five-course meals or four-poster beds like Her Majesty does for visitors. But think hard about what your particular guests will want. If you’re throwing a street party, for example, you’ll have a real mix. Are there enough chairs for older guests? Are you laying on games or toys for kids who might get bored? Is someone bringing grown-up soft drinks for those who don’t want alcohol? Will there be a couple of veggie options? It’s little details like this that really make a party.
Make food easy and fun
The Queen’s legendary garden parties serve cucumber sandwiches and strawberries and cream – perfect, simple summer fare that anyone can make and everyone enjoys. You’ll have enough to do without creating elaborate concoctions, so stick to simplicity. Try some royal-themed canapes – how about Ryvita Sweet Onion Crispbread with coronation chicken and chutney? Put out big dishes of hummus, guacamole and salsa plus a selection of Ryvita Thins for dipping. Pile up some of our fabulous limited edition Union Jack Crispbread packs to add even more colour, and encourage everyone to help themselves. Big bowls of summer fruit and jelly with jugs of cream and custard make a wonderfully retro – and easy – pudding with minimum preparation. Scatter them with red, white and blue hundreds and thousands.
Dress it up for less
If you look back at pictures of the Silver Jubilee, you won’t find any expensive or elaborate decorations. It was all home-made bunting, silly plastic Union Jack hats and kids in ‘Sunday best’. So don’t despair if you haven’t got much in your budget. Get everyone involved in making decorations – it’s all part of the experience. A few paper chains and balloons cost very little and will make a real difference to the look of your garden, front room or street. Stick to the red, white and blue theme and you’ll have no problems finding things you can use around the house. For example, an old white sheet makes a great tablecloth – dress it up by shredding some blue and red tissue paper and scattering it between the tables, confetti-style.
Dance the night away
Nothing creates atmosphere like music, so make sure you’ve got plenty available (and somewhere waterproof to put the stereo equipment if need be). A Diamond Jubilee is no time for understated, subtle or obscure music – your guests are going to want party tunes! Why not throw in some fabulous big band classics like Glenn Miller, or nostalgic singalongs with Vera Lynn? And don’t forget a rousing version of the National Anthem that everyone can bellow along to, plus some fun party tunes for dancing later.
Nothing brings people together like the fun of a shared activity. Having a raffle, a tombola stall, a lucky dip or just a ‘guess the number of sweets in the jar’ at your neighbourhood gathering is a great way of raising money for charity. It’s also a perfect conversation starter and can be a great way of breaking the ice with neighbours you might not know well. Kids love the fun of an organised treasure hunt and adults will relish a quiz – why not give it a Royal theme? Or you could hold a fancy-dress competition, a karaoke competition, an old-style talent show – the possibilities are endless. And whatever you choose, don’t forget to take a moment to raise a glass to her Majesty’s sixty glorious years – and to yourself for making all this effort!