A celebration fit for a queen
For Houston Anglophiles, the place to be Wednesday night was the English-Speaking Union’s birthday party for Queen Elizabeth II. The celebration hosted by United Kingdom Consul General Paul Lynch at the Consul General’s residency on Kirby Drive in River Oaks drew a mix of ladies in hats, a German brass band stuck in Texas, the great-grandson of Winston Churchill and fans of the sovereign who believe she does her job well.
The highlight of the evening came as the party moved to the back lawn of the residency where Lynch led a champagne toast to the queen in honor of her 84th birthday. As the celebration took place on April 21, the night could not end without E-SU president Joe Nelson leading a toast to the Republic of Texas. This was perhaps the only Queen’s birthday party in history which also celebrated San Jacinto Day.
The English-Speaking Union is a global, non-political charity that promotes “international understanding and friendship through the use of the English language." The Houston branch hosts receptions and lectures throughout the year with a special focus on education programs, like its Shakespeare Competition for area high school students.
In addition to Houstonian members and guests of the English-Speaking Union, also in attendance were David McGregor, trade commissioner at the Consulate of Canada, and Jonathan Sandys, great-grandson of Winston Churchill and president of Churchill’s Britain Foundation.
Enjoying the evening with this eclectic group of Houstonians, British, and Canadians were six members of the Original Boehmetaler Blasmusik, a German brass band that recently finished touring Texas but are grounded in Houston, waiting for ash-free skies over Europe. The musicians were guests of their host family, E-SU members Rodney and Mary Koenig.
In honor of the Queen, who is know for her eye-catching toppers, several of the women attending wore spring hats and carried boxy purses, though no one brought a Corgi.
The only person missing from the celebration was the Birthday-Queen herself. No doubt only Eyjafjallajokull kept her from attending. But Lynch hinted that a British prince might make a Houston visit in the next year.