Victoria: Peninsula residents among thousands hailing Queen’s golden jubilee

VICTORIA — This city named after a venerable British monarch celebrated the 50-year reign of another.

And as a smiling Queen Elizabeth II walked among thousands of Canadian subjects and several North Olympic Peninsula residents at three Victoria landmarks Sunday, it was clear that this most British of Canadian cities maintains affection for her and the traditions of the crown.

The queen, joined by her husband, Prince Philip, began the day by attending services at British Columbia’s Anglican cathedral.

They then lunched at Victoria’s regal Fairmont Empress Hotel.

Finally, they stood on a red-carpeted platform in front of the stately Parliament Buildings amid carillon, choral and band music, a welcoming speech, a military jet flyover and cheers from 10,000 people.

“She looked great,” Port Angeles’ Roy Scott said of the 76-year-old queen, who wore a salmon-colored suit and hat with black accents and black gloves.

“There was such a sense of affection for her,” said Rhonda LoPresti of Port Angeles, who viewed the afternoon ceremony from the legislative lawn under sunny skies.

“It was amazing to see the people she united — young and old.”

Colorful flags

The thousands who lined entrances and choked the lawn waved Canadian maple leaf flags, miniature British Columbia flags — which feature Britain’s Union Jack and a crown — and tiny paper flags bearing the crest of the golden jubilee of her ascension to the Canadian throne.

“She had such beautiful blue eyes, and she smiled pretty much the full time,” noted Jane Andrews of Port Angeles, one of the League of British Women who followed the monarch on her visits.

She and her friends, while riding home to the Peninsula on the ferry MV Coho, acknowledged that Sunday’s celebration was the closest they had ever been to Elizabeth — especially when the queen walked down a 225-foot center walkway from the Parliament Buildings to Belleville Street.

Elizabeth, followed by Prince Philip, British Columbia Premier Gordon Campbell and his wife, attendants and security personnel, shook hands and accepted flowers and pictures as she made her way down the path.

“My legs turned to jelly as she made eye contact,” Andrews recalled.

Another member of the League of British Women, Lou Yandell of Sequim, who wore her name badge on her blue wool cap, also caught Elizabeth’s eye.

“She first looked at my name badge, then down at me,” Yandell said.

“I curtsied.”

From her 11:25 a.m. arrival at Christ Church Cathedral to her 3:15 p.m. departure for Vancouver, the queen and her husband appeared in good spirits and appreciative of the crowds’ cheers and affection.

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The rest of the story appears in the Monday Peninsula Daily News. Click on SUBSCRIBE to get the PDN delivered to your home or office.

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