The grand parade celebrating Elizabeth II’s jubilee refines its preparations

Amid corgi and horse puppets, tension mounts in a grand historic warehouse in Coventry, immersed in the final preparations for the grand parade that will celebrate Elizabeth II’s 70th anniversary.

One of the paintings in the procession, entitled ‘The Queen’s Favourites’, was entrusted to Imagineer, an outdoor events company based in this West Midlands town in central England. A “total surprise” and a “huge honor,” emphasizes its managing director Jane Hytch.

It’s a more personal part of the 96-year-old Queen’s life that is portrayed in this parade, which will march through the streets of London to Buckingham Palace on June 5 as part of her centenary celebrations.

“We thought about what she likes,” explains Kathi Leahy, the artistic director. So dogs and horses became obvious.

In particular, the Queen’s famous corgis, short-legged and big-eared. A pack of twenty dolls of these dogs mounted on wheels will take part in the show.

The first was called Susan, named after the first corgi her parents gave Princess Elizabeth for her 18th birthday. Everyone has their own expression. One with thick brown eyebrows was nicknamed Groucho Marx, after the American comedian.

Lady Godiva

And to animate them with as much life as possible, during rehearsals dubbed “Corgi Training Camp,” each of the young people who will be handling them was asked to ask themselves “what kind of dog” they’re into have their hands on: “impish ?”, “young?”, “old?” explains Kathi Leahy.

The parade reserves a special place for horses, Elizabeth II’s great passion, by representing ten of the horses counted in the Queen’s life: Peggy, the Shetland pony, adopted by Princess Elizabeth at the age of 4 by King George V offered in Burmese, the mare, which she rode several times during “Trooping The Colour”, a ceremony officially celebrating her birthday.

Horses are often depicted with gears in homage to Coventry’s rich industrial past. The first British automobile was built at the company’s site at the end of the 19th century.

To celebrate Coventry, a giant puppet representing Lady Godiva, created for the London 2012 Olympic Games, will take part in the parade.

It pays homage to the 11th-century figure who, according to legend, crossed the city naked on horseback to persuade her husband, Leofric of Mercia, to lower taxes.

The procession, which will bring together 140 members of the troupe, will also commemorate the traditional counting of swans on the Thames and, with the help of boats dear to Prince Philip, pay tribute to the Queen’s husband who died in April 2021 aged 99.

“There will be a lot of cameras and it’s not that often that we perform in front of members of the royal family,” points out Jane Hytch, “there will be a lot of adrenaline, we’ve rehearsed, rehearsed and rehearsed. will do a great job.”


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