A birthday fit for our Queen

Pipe Major Bryan Mitchell will lead the Cambridge and Districts Pipe Band tomorrow as they take part in international celebrations of Queen Elizabeth’s Platinum Jubilee. Viv Posselt explains the band will play a tune composed for the occasion at 9.35am – coinciding with the lighting of beacon fires on hilltops around Britain.

The Cambridge & Districts Pipe Band will join pipers around the world in performing a new tune to mark Queen Elizabeth 11’s Platinum Jubilee.

Pipers in Commonwealth countries are being asked to mark the Queen’s 70 years on the British throne by playing a tune composed for the occasion by Pipe Major Stuart Liddell of Inveraray, Scotland.  The tune is a 6/8 march entitled ‘Diu Regnare’, Latin for ‘Long to Reign’.

Queen Elizabeth, who is New Zealand’s head of state, ascended the throne on June 2, 1953; her lengthy reign is seen as having immense historical significance.  In September 2015, she became the longest-reigning British monarch when she surpassed the 63-year-reign of her great-great-grandmother, Queen Victoria.

Bryan Mitchell, Pipe Major with the Cambridge & Districts Pipe Band, said the special composition will be played internationally as close as possible to the United Kingdom time of 9.35pm on the night of June 2.  The Cambridge band is officially registered with the UK as a participant.

“Because we are 12 hours ahead of UK time, and because there are unlikely to be many people around late Thursday evening, we are playing it at the exact New Zealand synchronous time of 9.35am on Friday morning, June 3,” he said. “The reason it is being played so late on a Thursday evening in the UK is that it coincides with the lighting of beacon fires on hilltops around Britain, from Land’s End to London … just as it was done when Sir Francis Drake defeated the Spanish Armada in 1588, and as was repeated on the 500th anniversary of that event.”

The local band will assemble outside the Cambridge Town Hall and begin the tune ‘Diu Regnare’ at 9.35am.

Bryan said they would play a few additional tunes before moving down the main street to Victoria Station, the UK-centric Lotto outlet that sells a range of British foods, magazines and more.

Victoria Station owner Karen Laycock is laying on a June 2 celebratory sausage sizzle tomorrow.

Victoria Station owner Karen Laycock is delighted at the prospect of hosting the band outside her shop.  Originally from England, she and her co-worker Margie Britton have gone all out to decorate the window in honour of ‘A Royal Day in June’, complete with a model monarch, cake, jewels and the quintessential tea set.

“We are also going to have a sausage sizzle and a bubble blowing machine going around the time the band is here, probably mid-morning,” said Karen.

The band will play outside Victoria Station for a short while before heading over to Leamington to continue their tribute by playing outside Jumble Around, a charity shop with a long history of supporting the pipe band. They expect to be there around 10.45am.

Bryan said an ex-London Irish Regimental piper was travelling from Napier to support the band’s performances.

“If we were to get sponsors or expenses covered, the band could consider repeating the performance in other Waikato regional towns,” he said.  “There are many people here who follow British royalty … the jubilee is a significant event and will be followed by millions around the world.”

Meanwhile, has sent  a 42-strong military contingent to march in the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Pageant.

The defence force said this week the contingent was putting itself through its marching paces at Devonport Naval Base in preparation for the show at Buckingham Palace and its surrounding areas on June 5.

A taua (warrior) will act as a symbolic guard as the contingent makes its way through the streets of central London.

About 11,000 people are expected to take part in the pageant, including 2000 military personnel from around the world.

The News is keen to hear from groups or organisations who hold their own Jubilee celebrations.  Send your photos and a brief explanation to viv@cambridgenews.nz

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