Where To Avoid The Queen's Birthday In London

By Londonist Staff Last edited 28 months ago
Where To Avoid The Queen's Birthday In London

Don't fancy waving a Union Flag while making up the words to five and a half verses of God Save the Queen? We have some alternatives to the Queen's second round of 90th birthday celebrations this weekend.

You could always moonlight as Brenda and see how many presents you get. Photo by Grooover in the Londonist Flickr pool

Labour for a Republic picnic

While thousands of Londoners will be scoffing crustless cucumber sandwiches in tribute to Her Maj, Labour for a Republic is organising a People's Picnic in Kensington Gardens this Sunday (12 June). Says event organiser Cllr Emma Dent Coad: "We thought there should be an event for ordinary people who refuse to tolerate the mythologising of the life of a wealthy 90 year old woman — an age unattainable for a vast majority of Kensington and Chelsea residents due to poverty and ill health."

Probably leave those Will and Kate flip flops at home, then.

The picnic takes place just south of Kensington Palace from noon-4pm.

Have a peasants' revolt themed picnic at Blackheath. Photo by Martin Carey in the Londonist Flickr pool

Hang out where a revolt/regicide took place

Fittingly, the peasants' revolt of 1381 was in full swing by June  — with Essex rebels camped in Mile End by 12 June and Kentish men in Blackheath the following day. Why not have a peasant-esque picnic of bread and cheese on Blackheath Common or in Victoria Park, while fiendishly plotting how to avoid the BBC's highlights of the Trooping the Colour.

As for regicide sites — Whitehall's Banqueting House is where Charles I lost his head in 1649. It's also got a stunning Rubens ceiling. Then again, given all the paintings of royals, not to mention the throne, the setting might be a little regal for your tastes. Instead, why not go and gawk at the Cromwell statue outside Parliament.

Note: Londonist does not condone revolt or regicide.

Doff your top hat to Gene Wilder, by watching Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Celebrate someone else's birthday instead

The Queen's already had one birthday this year, so you might want to celebrate someone else's instead. Elizabethan playwright Ben Jonson was born c. 11 June 1572; go and stare at his portrait at the National Portrait Gallery, or take in a play by Jonson's famous peer at Shakespeare's Globe.

Gene Wilder — the man who played Willy Wonka in the 1971 musical — turns 83 on Saturday; you could always celebrate by going to watch Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

If you're REALLY scraping the barrel, June 11 is also Transformers/Nymphomaniac actor Shia LeBeouf's birthday. What's this kid got to do with London? Not a lot. But he did once headbutt someone in this New Cross pub. It's the same pub where Elton John was recently caught going for a cheeky wee, so have a nice think about that while you chug on a pint here.  

Celebrate another Queen

Who says the Queen is the only queen? Go and see the Boudica statue on Westminster Bridge (tie it in with a visit to the Cromwell statue), grab a drink in the excellent Queen's Head in King's Cross, or go on a Queen (the band) walking tour.

Want to know where to celebrate the Queen's birthday in London? We've got that covered too.

Last Updated 09 June 2016