- Garden Party in Madrid to celebrate the Queen’s Jubilee
There were plenty of them, 250 or more, of the good and the not so good, as members of the British Community gathered in Madrid at the residence of her Majesty’s Ambassador, Hugh Elliott, to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee on 2 June.
The festivities to commemorate Her Majesty’s 70 years on the throne might not have had the ‘celebrities’ that were simultaneously gathering along the Mall and at the Party in the Palace, but we did have our own ‘Queen of the Costa Blanca’, Stevie Spit BEM, who provided much of the afternoon’s entertainment with his two sets of songs from many of the West End’s popular musicals.
The guests included representatives of many Costa Blanca and Costa de Sol charities with a presentation made to one of them by HMA, MABS Cancer Support Foundation, prior to the start of the event.
The charity Vice President, Beverley Thompson, who was also among four UK nationals in Spain named on the same day in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List, received the Knox Shield from HMA in appreciation of the support that MABS provide to the RBL in respect of the emotional, physical and psychological support to cancer sufferers across the Costa Blanca and Costa Calida. This is a Worldwide Award that was made during the recent RBL National Conference held in London.
Of course there were also many other charities represented including HELP at home Costa Blanca, Costa Women, the Royal British Legion, the Royal Air Force Association, as well as Adintre, Age Concern, Support in Spain, Cudeca and the English Cemetery in Malaga.
Other guests included San Fulgencio’s British councillors, Samantha Hull and Darren Parmenter, along with Richie Sparks of Big FM, and of course The Leader Newspaper, which made a pre party presentation to HMA of the book ‘Leverkus’ documenting the humanitarian efforts of Cartagena’s British Consul, Manchester born William Leverkus, during the Spanish Civil War.
Compiled by retired Colonel Antonio Cortiñas- Guntin, a historian at Cartagena Military Museum, the book is a record of his civil war diaries. It was published last year in Spanish and is now about to be released in English. The presentation was made by editor, Kevin Reardon, on behalf of the author.
Thereafter the garden party was officially opened with a speech by HMA, who sent ‘his boss’ Her Majesty, his sincere congratulations on achieving such a magnificent landmark.
The event also included the inauguration of a new tree planted in the garden as part of the Queen’s Green Canopy UK-wide environmental campaign.
The Spanish Consular Director, Juan Duarte, was then invited to say a few words, which he began by reminding the gathering of Real Madrid’s European Champions League victory over Liverpool a week earlier after which the two national anthems, of Spain and the United Kingdom, were played, as HMA, wife Toni and Snr Duarte invited everyone to raise their glasses in a toast to the Queen.
Following the speeches Stevie Spit then broke into song by way of background entertainment while the ambassador and his wife moved into the garden to start the job of ‘mingling’….
During a pause in Stevie’s musical efforts, HMA and Toni then returned to the patio to show off and cut their magnificent cake before it was sliced up and distributed amongst the guests.