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Fleet Street had its own street party to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee in St Bride's Fleet Street, made over with bunting, tables loyally decorated with flags, and a large-screen television broadcasting the Service of Thanksgiving in nearby St Paul's.
A party of russet-gowned members of the Guild of St Bride, founded in 1375 by Edward III to burn a candle at the 'Church of St Brigide in Fletestrete', lined Fleet Street with flags to welcome his 17th Great-Granddaughter to the City. Several members of the Royal Party - including HM the Queen, HRH the Duchess of Cornwall, and HRH the Duchess of Cambridge - pointed and waved enthusiastically to St Bride's, a church many of them know well from recent visits.
The Duchess of Cornwall last visited St Bride's in November 2010 for a service commemorating journalists who have lost their lives in the line of duty, addressed by Marie Colvin who is now remembered on the church's Journalists' Altar. More happily, HRH the Prince of Wales visited the 'Cathedral of Fleet Street' in March 2002, for a service marking three hundred years of daily newspapers. (Prince Charles unveiled a plaque to commemorate the first edition of the Daily Courant, published 11th March, 1702). The Queen and HRH the Duke of Edinburgh were present at the reopening of St Bride's in December 1957 after its devastation in the Blitz and then at a celebratory service 50 years later.
Tuesday's 'Fleet Street party' followed a concert the preceding Thursday, 'The Honour of a Jubilee', of Royal music throughout the ages. Sunday brought a very full Choral Eucharist to mark the jubilee, and a picnic whereby St Bride's joined in the nationwide 'Big Lunch', to music from pianist Mark Webster.
In a morning which marked the close connection between the Queen and the City of London, residents and visitors to the City were able to join in from St Bride's with the service at St Paul's Cathedral, following the prayers and hymns with service sheets St Bride's had printed. The bustling street-party atmosphere, which kept the Church filled throughout the afternoon, then continued until the 3:30 pm flypast, with food cooked by parishioners and a wine table bartended by churchwarden Peter Silver. Those present at the end were able to watch the progress of the Lancaster, Spitfires, Hurricane and Red Arrows as they passed over the Square Mile en route to the crowds which awaited them around Buckingham Palace.