In honour of the Queen’s official birthday last Saturday, we decided to join the Trooping the Colour celebrations with a daring worldwide afternoon tea that stretched over 19 hours, in 14 galleries and 9 countries. Quintessentially British, daringly Timothy Oulton. Here’s our homage to Her Majesty.
Saturday 13th June, 11am
Thousands of people are lining the streets of London as 1100 officers of the Queen’s personal troops, the Household Division, stand on parade together with 200 horses. The Royal Procession arrives and the Queen takes the Royal Salute and begins the ceremonial inspection. The pageantry continues as the royal carriage follows the parade from Buckingham Palace along The Mall to Horse Guards Parade, Whitehall and back again, to the jubilant sounds of trumpets, drums and cheers.
Six hours earlier…
The nation’s capital is still and quiet. The Queen is fast asleep and the sun is only just appearing over London’s horizon. On the other side of the world however, the birthday celebrations have already begun as we kick off our annual worldwide afternoon tea, starting with Auckland. Here we go…
4pm Auckland, 5am London
The Queen’s sovereign state New Zealand is the first stop on this 19 hour marathon. Timothy Oulton at Dawsons, Auckland, is hanging out the royal bunting as the delicious smell of buttered scones fills the air, offering a hearty British welcome.
4pm Hong Kong and Singapore, 9am London
The Queen’s troops are busy polishing their shoes and brushing their bearskin hats in preparation for the parade. 6000 miles away in both our Hong Kong stores, bowler hat topped cupcakes are disappearing fast while at Curio in Singapore they pull out all the stops with a large two-tier Union Jack cake – looking almost too good to eat.
4pm Beirut, 2pm London
The parade in London has begun and ended with deafening cheers from the crowd. At Buckingham Palace, little Prince George waved to the crowd from the balcony along with the rest of the Royal family, as the RAF performed a spectacular flypast just one hour ago. As the celebrations in the capital start to wind down, it’s only just beginning in Beirut as the team at Timothy Oulton lay out a right royal spread.
4pm Amsterdam, Reims and Geneva, 3pm London
10 hours since we began, it’s finally teatime in Europe. The coronation teacups are clinking in our two Amsterdam galleries and the party vibe is in full swing. Kids are busy digging into cupcakes while parents enjoy a glass of champagne. Meanwhile in Reims at our gallery in DP Home, customers are surprised and delighted to be welcomed by tiers of buttery British biscuits as they step inside. Over in Geneva, people are making themselves at home on the Westminster Union Jack sofa as they help themselves to decadent chocolate cake. The Axel coffee table and console are covered in rich velvety roses with vintage silver teapots full of freshly brewed British tea to mark the occasion.
Our afternoon tea arrives home to good old Blighty, to Timothy Oulton Harrods. Finger sandwiches, scones and shortbread adorn the Museum dining table as shoppers toast to the Royal family. Everyone in store starts feeling very patriotic and cameras start clicking as people take photos with the Union Jack napkins and our quintessentially British bowler hats.
4pm New York, 9pm London
The party continues across the Atlantic in New York. Our gallery at ABC Carpet & Home gets their vintage china ready with a fresh stack of cakes.
4pm California, midnight in London
As the Queen is sleeping soundly, the party’s still going strong as a new birthday feast is unveiled in San Francisco, L.A. and Orange County at HD Buttercup. Guests tuck in as they chat about the Royal family and all things British. One of our L.A. gallery ambassadors takes ‘flying the flag’ literally as he climbs atop the Axel dining table in jubilant celebration.
Finally, after 19 hours, our tribute to royal Brittania draws to a close. Our bellies may be bursting but we think we’ve done Her Majesty proud. Many happy returns Ma’am.