I was invited to the British Ambassadors Residence on Thursday 17 June to celebrate the Queens Official Birthday. (I bit late I thought). However it was a very sunny day and the turnout in the Ambassadors garden was impressive with at least 300 people or more.
These events are always good to catch up with friends in Kyiv and to find out what’s new in the diplomatic community. Although I did feel that many of the Ukrainians attending did not know what to do and I suspect they were waiting for a speech from the British Ambassador. The lone piper was a good idea and when he started playing from the balcony at the side of the Ambassadors house, we all thought…Ah, this is it, someone will give a speech now, but it was not to be.
So a great day and interesting to talk with so many interesting people, but I’m sure the Ambassador needs to give a speech next time, just so that many people can understand WHY they are there!!!
In the UK, the Queen's Official Birthday is now celebrated on the first, second, or third Saturday in June, although it is rarely the third. It is marked in London by the ceremony of Trooping the Colour, which is also known as the Queen's Birthday Parade. The Queen's Official Birthday does not coincide with when she was born.The Queen celebrates her actual birthday on 21 April.
The list of Birthday Honours is also announced at the time of the UK Official Birthday celebrations. In British diplomatic missions the day is treated as the National Day of the United Kingdom. Although it is not celebrated as a specific public holiday in the UK (as it is not a working day), civil servants are given a "privilege day" at this time of year, which is often merged with the Spring Bank Holiday (last Monday in May) to create a long weekend, which was partly created to celebrate the monarch's birthday.