The idea for the celebration came from one of our horticultural therapists, Aggie. It involved someone arriving at Thrive dressed up as the Queen, who would go on to host some fun games and activities with everyone.
As we have a different combination of client gardeners at our centre each day, the only way to ensure everyone had the opportunity to take part was to run the party 5 times over. One each weekday leading up to the Platinum Jubilee weekend.
Different days meant a different cast for each day. We had 5 different staff members and volunteers dress up as Queen Elizabeth, all bringing their own interpretation to the role. For each of the 5 visits, we also had different people including client gardeners dress up as the royal family. Sometimes we even had duplicate Kate Middletons and Prince Williams!
This is a 'play-by-play' of how it all happened at each celebration.
With everyone gathered around red, white and blue tables, someone playing the royal guard would come out first to the intrigue of the audience. The guard would then announce that Queen Elizabeth II had arrived.
The person playing the Queen that day would then walk out, giving a royal wave to her guests. Once the Queen sat on her throne, the royal guard would give a short speech, thanking her for her visit and ask her to do a quiz. Raucous applause would normally take place at this point. Pure excitement at the Queen being their very own quizmaster!
The quiz asked everyone some questions about Queen Elizabeth II, including the names of her corgis and how many grandchildren she has (8 in case you were wondering!). The quiz was followed by cake, a game of bingo and a highly energised disco dance to 'Dancing Queen.'
The royal guard would then announce the departure of the Queen as everyone waved her goodbye.
The Queen and those accompanying her may have changed from day to day, but what remained constant was the amount of effort put in by staff and volunteers to make this a special occasion. The pure joy emanating from client gardeners made it clear that this was more than worth everyone's time. You can see the joy for yourself in the photo gallery below.