Final preparations are made to mark the Queen’s 25 years on the throne.
Earl Mountbatten of Burma, the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh wave from the balcony of Buckingham Palace after the silver jubilee procession
One hundred coconuts arrived in Britain yesterday while a party of London policemen prepared to climb down manholes and gumboot along the city’s sewers. Both events, naturally, were part of the Silver Jubilee, which continues to expand into all areas of human life.
The policemen are part of a stringent security net covering tomorrow’s jubilee procession from Buckingham Palace to St Paul’s Cathedral and the Guildhall. The jubilee, and the Commonwealth Conference, are absorbing the security authorities and the two combine tomorrow when Commonwealth leaders join the Royal procession.
Few of them are as uncontroversial as the Queen and political demonstrations are planned against seven later in the week. Armed members of Scotland Yard’s diplomatic protection group will be on guard.
The sewer searchers will check for bombs or anything suspicious under the Royal route, while Special Branch men screen everyone entitled to a place overlooking it. These include a party of 50 winners of a win-a-window-seat competition run by Woman’s Own, whose bona fides have been discreetly checked.
Four hundred extra police from the Home Counties, British Transport and Port of London forces will be drafted in to help with crowd control, particularly in the narrow City streets approaching Guildhall which may be cordoned off if too many people crowd in.
Campers are expected on the pavements from this afternoon on.
The jubilee coconuts which arrived yesterday jetted in from the Bahamas just in time to save the village fete at Barnes Green and Itchingfield in Sussex. The fete had a shy but no nuts and organiser Mr Malcolm Pryor failed to find any in London.
Retailing his woes over a lunchtime drink, he was overheard by two staff of the Nassau World Banking Corporation who immediately offered 100 nuts from Nassau which British Airways obligingly ferried across on the first flight.
Thousands of visitors were turned away from Sandringham House, the Queen’s country mansion in Norfolk, yesterday. There was a complete sell-out of the 2,500 tickets at 30p a head, for admission to the house, within two-and-a-half hours of the doors opening.
The Foreign Office last night confirmed that Mr Enoch Powell would be spending Jubilee in Moscow.
But if all the Royal interest was settled at Windsor, the centre of London was startled by one little-advertised jubilee event at 7.25 on Sunday morning. Uncheered and unwatched, the State Coach, a dozen other carriages and a long crocodile of soldiers processed through the drizzle - the dummy run for tomorrow’s cavalcade.
It was too much for Mr Jimmy McIntosh, of Paisley, who was drinking wine and thinking Wembley thoughts in The Strand as the carriages rolled past.
“I was frightened,” he said. “I haven’t been sober since Thursday and I thought it must be Tuesday or the Scotland team doing a lap of honour round London.”