When an individual has been on the job for seventy years, a celebration is certainly de rigueur! And so, from 3 -6 PM, on Sunday, July 10, 2022, at the Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows in Santa Monica, the organizations BritWeek and the British American Business Council Los Angeles duly and joyously commemorated The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Party, in honor of the considerable accomplishments of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
The gala was indeed a smashing success and as I stood with the crowd to do a loyal toast (not a royal toast, because the British have their rules and protocol about that, to be elaborated on at the end of this article), I felt proud to be celebrating that “special relationship” with my country’s greatest ally. After all, my own father was a British gentleman and I have many good friends of British descent, so I really do feel the connection; also, this will justify the revelry and merrymaking I am planning at this event. But, I am getting ahead of myself.
A glass of champagne in hand and Chanel sandals on my feet, I walked amongst the celebrants in the fabulous gardens of the Fairmont and found the the socialite couple, the Choos, Gabrielle and Christopher. Always appropriately and fashionably attired, the couple wore matching pink Dolce and Gabbana outfits, Gabrielle in a fetching hat tilted just right for the celebration looked a vision amongst the flowers with her floral dress.
I next encountered my good friends Louise Salter and Nigel Daly OBE. Louise looked lovely with a festive hat and enchanting green dress, but all she really needs is her fabulous smile. Nigel sported a handsome white linen jacket and looked every bit the English gentleman, and, in this case, appearances are not deceiving.
I later shared some fries with that expert on all things royal Sandro Monetti and then had a tete a tete with the ever-stylish stylist to the stars George Bloodwell. I was happy to find that the British pub Ye Olde King’s Head, that I will admit to frequenting, was there with their wares, which I of course sampled. I coveted a Paddington teddy bear and some crisps they were selling, but that will be a later purchase.
The party fare was scones, fish and chips, English cheeses, pate, and pastries, and I was an eager partaker of same.
Revelers were entertained by some remarkable talents, including Legendary DJ Paul Oakenfold (voted #1 DJ in the world by DJ magazine); the 9-piece Amy Winehouse Tribute Band Dear Amy; the Beatles Tribute Band Plastic Soul; singing sensation Victoria Summer (renowned as “Julie Andrews” in Disney’s Saving Mr. Banks, opposite Tom Hanks); and Lauren Samuels (London West End singing star and host of the podcast A Brit in LA).
In attendance were British Consul General Emily Cloke, who toasted the Queen; BritWeek Co-Founder Nigel Lythgoe OBE and PhD; Editor of The Laboratory Arts Collective Magazine (THE LAB MAG) Louise Salter; CNN Royal Correspondent and BBC Contributor Sandro Monetti; fashion icon George Bloodwell; and honored dignitaries, celebrities, and leaders from the British and American business community.
In a special ceremony at the event, Katy Haber MBE was honoured for her many years of charitable services with a special presentation by Congressional candidate Jan Perry. A founding member of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts Los Angeles (BAFTA LA), Katy sat on its board for 23 years. Her extraordinary life in film is matched by her humane and tireless community service helping disadvantaged youth and the homeless.
Nigel Daly OBE announced the initiation of the BritWeek Christopher Guy Design Icon Award, in honor of the late Christopher Guy, world renowned designer of luxury homes, generous philanthropist, and long-time supporter and Board member of BritWeek.
A few comments about the event from some of the esteemed celebrants:
Her Majesty’s Consul General Emily Cloke remarked: “Her Majesty the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee is a momentous occasion – where all over the world, and of course here in LA, we mark The Queen’s remarkable service over the past seventy years. It is also an opportunity for communities like The BABC LA and BritWeek to come together to celebrate the modern, diverse, and outward facing UK we are today.”
BABC LA President James Langbridge said: “It is a proud moment to see the British community come together as one to celebrate the Platinum Jubilee for our beloved Royal Highness, Her Majesty the Queen.
BritWeek Founder Nigel Lythgoe OBE added: “Across my career I have been involved in many Royal Variety Performances as a dancer and producer for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth. Those shows have included her Silver, Golden and Diamond Jubilees, too. Now to be able to produce her Platinum Jubilee celebration here in Los Angeles is truly the icing on the cake. Or should I say, “the jewel in the crown!”
BritWeek Chairman Nigel Daly OBE, whom I know to be a Renaissance man (actor, director, producer, President of Screen International, co-founder of the highly acclaimed The Laboratory Arts Collective Magazine, and former Chairman of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts Los Angeles) had this to say: “ The event was a great success: we honoured the Queen’s 70 years of service to the nation and indeed the commonwealth as well as the unique relationship between the UK and US, which is at the heart of what BritWeek stands for – celebrating our commonality and relationship.”
This indeed was a most convivial, heartfelt, and jubilant jubilee, truly befitting the great lady it celebrated!
I now include the official rules for toasting the queen, for the edification of my readers:
It is referred to as the LOYAL TOAST. Not ROYAL.
- After the entree has been cleared and before dessert has been served, the host or the toastmaster rises and asks for the attention of those present so that they may join in a toast to Her Majesty, the Queen. He/She asks the guests to rise. Once all have risen the toastmaster looks to the left and then to the right, raises his/her glass and says:
“The Queen” without any other words and without music.
- Those present respond:
“The Queen” drink the toast and sit.
- It is not appropriate to clink glasses.
- Members of the Royal Family do not participate in nor respond to the toast.
- It is preferred to drink the toast with wine NEVER water. Water is seen as bad luck.
- The Loyal Toast is always the first one to be proposed. No other toasts should be proposed until the loyal toast has been made.
- Never quaff but always sip.
Event sponsors included Virgin Atlantic Airlines, Nigel Lythgoe OBE PhD, theBritish Consulate-General in Los Angeles, InvestCloud, Mercury Pictures, Britbox, Brits in LA, Adobe Road Winery, and Honey Bubbles Sparkling Moscato.
BritWeek is a non-profit organization that hosts events every year to promote British creativity, innovation, and excellence across multiple categories including film and television, music, art, fashion, design, retail, sport, philanthropy, business, and more. The events take place throughout Greater Los Angeles and Orange County. BritWeek was co-founded by Nigel Lythgoe OBE and Bob Pierce. https://britweek.org
The British American Business Council Los Angeles (BABC LA) is part of the largest and most efficacious trans-Atlantic business network extant, and its express purpose is to both facilitate collaborative relationships between businesses in the United Kingdom and the United States and provide a social network for members to develop long-lasting friendships. The organization, with its 22 chapters and more than 2,000 member companies, including many of the world’s largest multinational firms, is based in major business centers throughout North America and the UK. https://babcla.org/