Greenwich Night Pageant (2) Act 1
I’ve been waiting here for ages and my backside’s going to sleep. I mean it’s all very festive and the atmosphere’s fantastic, but it’s costing me a fortune. I guess it’s my own fault. I paid 10/6 for a front row seat, (couldn’t really stretch to a guinea for a place next to the Royal Box) so I decided I might as well have a total blowout. I parked the Phantom Motorcycle in the temporary car park in Greenwich Park for a shilling, then scoffed a whitebait dinner at 5/6 in the Dining Hall of the Royal Hospital Building and washed it down with a glass or two of Seagers Gin. Who says programme advertising doesn’t work?
A mighty fanfare blasts, then twinkles into the sweet strains of Greensleeves. We are being transported back to the days of Good King Hal. Anne Boleyn has just given birth to a bouncing baby girl. Sundry citizens, ushers, City & Guilds men, merchants, the Lord Mayor and Aldermen all troop onstage and are joined by the Dowager Duchess of Norfolk, “wrapped in a mantle of purple velvet and carried beneath a canopy of gold upheld by Earls.” This is more like it. The Announcer is very excited.