Monday, May 24, 2010

Queen Victoria's Birthday!

The event begins with a bag-piped procession...

our resident Scotsman opens the ceremony...

there is a gun salute...

and a military salute...
the young gentlemen raise the Hudson's Bay Company flag...

we toast Queen Victoria's health and long life, and the celebration begins!

This event is always so much fun because it is just a party, rather than a working event (which is fun in a different sort of way). Everyone dresses in their finest, sips lemonade, snacks on ginger cakes, dances and plays lawn games. It is a real lark!

The boys always enjoy the woodworking tools, and this event was no exception!

Noah was thrilled to get out in the fresh air and sunshine (except for a passing shower, the predicted rain did not occur).

He did stop just for a moment for a picture with me.
The young ladies in their frocks chatted and sewed some finery.

Nate played jacks with a young visitor on the veranda, while Noah scribbled away on his slate.
Both boys tried their hand at croquet as we looked on. As a side note: croquet was not a popular pastime in the U.S. until after the Civil War period, but it was commonly played earlier in England, and as a British outpost, we portray it as a British custom.

Lark in the Dark arrived to play, and we all settled to watch the dancers, just like Sophia and her adorable sisters in in the precious clothing she made for them.

The dancers danced most of the afternoon, and it was a lovely, leisurely celebration of talking about costume dramas and enjoying the outdoors. Our next event is sure to be quite different with a fierce 1850s cooking competition (and the unveiling of a new brewer impression for our family) so this was a nice change of pace!

To the Queen! And to the Honorable Company!


Sarah Jane said...

Oh my goodness! What a fabulous time it looks to have been. Everyone looks wonderful and I'm so glad the weather cooperated for you! What a fun way to celebrate the Queens birthday - I wish places around here would do that! :)

Lauren said...

What a wonderful time! I love all of your costumes. You look like you stepped out of history. :-) Miss you!

Rachel said...

What a fabulous and festive event! You boys look great and happy. I love your dress and your bonnet is fantastic!
I think such a laid back and fun event is quite refreshing!

Anonymous said...

The BlueMass Cat says:

Why were there American troops saluting the Queen on her birthday?

N. Briggs

lissawi said...

Mr. Briggs, that is actually a great question! Washington is a disputed territory in the 1850s with an American military presence at a fort 10 miles South of the Hudson's Bay Company fort. The officers of both forts were friendly adversaries as they considered each other members of the same class, and they attended each other's parties, dinners and social events.

We portray this uncertainty of local control by including both American military and HBC officers (as well as French Voyageurs, Russian & Hawaiian representatives) in our celebrations. Since they are on HBC land, the Americans are being polite and paying their respect to the Queen.

Thanks for stopping by my blog!