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A Day Off in Honor of our Queen

In Thanksgiving for the Diamond Jubilee of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

Last Tuesday our Queen celebrated her Jubilee with a National Service of Thanksgiving.  We celebrated by attending one of many simultaneous carillon concerts held across Britain and Canada. 

For an hour, the bells sounded across Parliament Hill as Dominion Carillonneur, Dr. Andrea McCrady, played a thrilling program of hymns and other music, ending with the Royal Anthem, ‘God Save the Queen’.

The children and I settled down in front of the Parliament buildings along with some friends and listened, sharing a printed program and Dutch liquorice.  The sun shone, the Canadian flag snapped in the breeze, the grass was almost dry, and the bells kept on ringing.  It was all so beautiful and so thrilling!

In years to come, when our children’s children learn about Queen Elizabeth, we’ll remember that morning and tell them, “Yes, we celebrated the Jubilee to the ringing of the bells of the Peace Tower.”

And then we’ll add that we took along an iced carrot cake for lunch, and ate the whole 9×13 cake at a shady picnic table.  An entire cake for lunch—just this once—to celebrate our Queen’s Jubilee. 

We may have taken the day off from book work, but we were a living part of history.

God Save the Queen!

If you’re interested, here’s the program from the House of Commons website

In Thanksgiving for the Diamond Jubilee of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

Performed in simultaneity with the Canadian carillons (each carillon playing locally chosen repertoire and all concluding with the Royal Anthem): Metropolitan United Church (Toronto), Soldiers’ Tower, University of Toronto, St. George’s Anglican Church (Guelph), Norfolk County War Memorial (Simcoe), Netherlands Centennial Carillon (Victoria), & British carillons: Church of Our Lady of the Rosary (Birmingham/Saltley), Bournville School (Birmingham), Old Bond Street (London), Loughborough War Memorial (Loughborough), York Minster (York), St. Mary’s Church (St. Helen’s/Liverpool).

Peace Tower Carillon Recital:

  • O Canada
  • Westminster, by Robert Byrnes
  • Hymn Tune “Westminster Abbey”, by Henry Purcell, arranged by Sally Slade Warner
  • The Queen Elizabeth Her Galliard, by John Dowland, arranged by Jeff Davis
  • Profil Canadian, by Émilien Allard
  • The Maple Leaf Forever, by Alexander Muir, arranged by James B. Slater
  • Lake Music for Carillon, by Terry Vaughan (written for the inauguration of the Canberra Carillon by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, 26 April 1970)
  • Hymn Tune “Brother James’ Air” (Psalm 23), by James Leith MacBeth Bain, arranged by Sally Slade Warner
  • Prelude on “St. Columba”, by Healey Willan, arranged by Andrea McCrady
  • Sinfonia for the Carillons, by George Frideric Handel, arranged by Ronald Barnes
  • Hymn Tune “Hyfrydol”, by Rowland Hugh Prichard, arranged by Paul Manx & Michael G. Bond
  • Chorale Partita IV “St. Anne”, by John R. Knox
  • Hymn Tune “Blessing & Honour & Glory & Power”, arranged by John R. Knox
  • Hymn Tune “Jerusalem”, by C. H. H Parry, arranged by Sally Slade Warner
  • Hymn Tune “Michael”, by Herbert Howells, arranged by John Courter
  • Prelude on “The King’s Majesty”, by Graham George, arranged by Milford Myhre
  • Andante for 47 Bells, by Percival Price
  • God Save the Queen



  1. Jeff Hoots says:

    Wow! I learned something – that Canada participated in the Diamond Jubilee. I did not know that.

  2. Jenn4him says:

    I am sure it was a glorious time. I feel as is she is our Queen too, as I have always loved England.

  3. Carmen says:

    Oh…I could have shared a GF cake recipe called Queen Elizabeth cake. Made with dates – very good! If you’d like it, let me know!

  4. JoAnn says:

    Wow, sounds like an interesting time. So glad you could enjoy it like you did.

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