Wednesday, 30 May 2012

The Sea Containers Diamond Jubilee Wrap

The Queen's Diamond Jubilee is almost upon us and the excitement is finally beginning to build. Whereas the interest in last year's Royal Wedding was almost frenzied, this has been an altogether more graceful and dignified occasion, much like Queen Elizabeth II herself.  This is a great achievement for the Queen as she is only the second monarch in history to reach her Diamond Jubilee (the first being Queen Victoria in 1897). 

It has been fun wandering around London these past weeks and spotting all of the Union Flags.  The last time I saw so flags just lining the streets was during the Silver Jubilee in 1977, when Queen Elizabeth celebrated 25 years in power. 

By far the best acknowledgement of the Diamond Jubilee so far has been this massive wrap on the side of Sea Containers House near Blackfriars Bridge in London.

The Queen

Taken during the Silver Jubilee celebrations in 1977, it shows the Queen waving to the crowds from the balcony of Buckingham Palace while Prince Charles, Prince Edward, Prince Andrew, Earl Mountbatten, Prince Phillip, Mark Phillips and Princess Anne look on. 

It is said to be the largest photo ever of the Royal Family and I think the photo below will give an idea of its scale.

Sea Container House

It is massive! The wrap is in place until the end of June while redevelopment work carries on in the building.

But why build it?  Jonathan Ofer of The Deerbrook Group, asset managers for Sea Containers building owner Archlane Ltd, explains the rationale behind the wrap:

"When this Silver Jubilee photo was taken 35 years ago, the South Bank was an unvisited stretch of the Thames - not the centre of business, tourism and culture that it is today. It is the owner's tribute for this very special occasion, when on Sunday 3rd June, the Jubilee Flotilla passes by and the country celebrates 60 incredible years of everything that makes Britain great".

The time-lapse video video shows how the world’s largest photograph of the British Royal family was erected over 45 hours, measuring 100m x 70m and spanning the entire face of Sea Containers on London South Bank.

What do you think of the wrap and the upcoming Diamond Jubilee? I'm heading out to France for the long weekend and am planning to take a look around some quaint northern towns but secretly hoping we sit on the beach for four days instead.

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15 comments

  1. I passed this the other day, on a boat! Apparently there were complaints relating to a photo of this being erected because there was a rigger standing on the Queen's head... Just not done!

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  2. Wish I could be there for the celebration and later for the Olympics. London will be busy :)

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  3. I like it although I hadn't noticed it before. Duh! I'm glad I'm staying in London for the jubilee, should be interesting, but I am sure France will be much more peaceful! have a good trip,Mo.

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  4. It is an exciting time to be in London! First the Jubilee and then the Olympics. So much has happened since that photo was taken in 1977!

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  5. You can't miss that; I see the weather has changed in time!

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  6. That is one massive photo. I loved the time lapse movie showing it being unfurled.

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  7. I hope your secret hopes become reality !
    anni

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  8. This is very impressive! Enjoy your time in France!

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  9. I like how your photos look like film. Were they?

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  10. Wow, I didn't realise just how big that photo is! I love that they unravelled the Queen last. Fingers crossed that you got a few good days of weather in the North of France too. Did you find any interesting places to visit?

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  11. Hopefully the weather was better in France than London, and that it wasn't as busy on the beach as it was in Central London. I haven't seen the giant photo for real, and unless I'm down that way for something else I doubt if I will...

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  12. @ LStacey: Heh. People will find anything to complain about, won't they?

    @ Ivanhoe: Really??? Most Londoners are not all that thrilled to be around during this time. Trains and buses are already chaos but I'm hoping it won't affect my lines too much.

    @ Jenny: I think it had only recently been erected at that time so don't feel bad!

    @ AVCr8teur: definitely! This would have been a couple of years before Charles met Di!

    @ John: definitely not! It is rather big.

    @ Clueless in Boston: I quite liked the video too!

    @ This is Belgium: ha ha ha. It was NOT beach weather.

    @ Ash: thank you! It was lovely indeed.

    @ Sixmats: no, they were done through Instagram and taken on my iPhone. I took them while out walking to work.

    @ Wendy: Yes! We loved France and visited Lille and Boulogne.

    @ Dominic: it is indeed!

    @ William: I was so happy to be in France and not London during that! All I saw on Facebook and Instagram was crowds everywhere.

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  13. So so so cool! I would have loved to have been there for the Jubilee!!!

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  14. @ Carol: awww, you must try make a royal event one day. Maybe the Christening of Will's baby or something!

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