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Wednesday 14 April 2021

We Will Miss Philip - and Link-Up

 Is This Mutton blogger Gail Hanlon on contemplative mood as she reflects on the death of Prince Philip

The last few days have been fairly momentous in the UK.  The Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Philip, died on Friday just two months short of his 100th birthday.  And on Monday, the gradual relaxing of lockdown restrictions reached an important stage with non-essential retail, hairdressers and gyms able to reopen, and pubs and restaurants able to host people outdoors.

I never considered myself a monarchist when I was younger.  The royals, I thought, were good for the economy and giving the UK a bit of quirkiness with our pageantry and rituals. But as I've got older, the presence of the Queen and Prince Philip has been the backdrop to my life. They have always been here. As someone who values traditions and continuity, this has been important to me.  

In the nonstop TV coverage of Prince Philip's life, one thing that hasn't been mentioned was when he was absent with a rare illness from the balcony appearance at the Queen's Diamond Jubilee in 2012.

You may remember how the royal couple had to stand for hours on a decorated barge in terrible weather, and it took a toll on Philip who was admitted to hospital.

The Crowd Chanted Philip's Name 

I'm surprised the coverage hasn't mentioned the haunting chants of "Philip!" among the thousands of people gathered in the Mall that evening as the royal family came out onto the balcony after a military fly past, minus the Duke of Edinburgh. 

I realised at that point the great affection the British people had for Prince Philip, something they scarcely realised.  In many ways he was a contradictory character:  gruff, outspoken, characterized by outdated views on service and duty. But he was also passionate and authentic with a rare gift of putting people at their ease, usually with a witty comment and twinkle in his eye.

He was a dashing Royal Naval officer who probably would have gone onto great things.  His family - his mother and Lord Mount Batten -  were exceptional people who achieved a great deal.  But Philip abandoned his career to be the Queen's consort, a difficult move for an alpha male but one he bore with stoicism and fortitude. 

My dad met him twice in one week during the Tercentenary of the Royal Marines which my dad had helped to organise. For the second meeting, my dad had had to do an emergency wash of his sharkskin ceremonial jacket and it was hung from a flagpole in The Mall to dry.  Prince Philip said "Oh not you again!" when they met.

On another occasion, he and my mum were at a reception, my mum heavily pregnant with my younger brother, and Prince Philip started heading towards them. My mum was horrified at the idea of speaking to him and turned on her heels and fled. 

Prince Philip meticulously planned his funeral and the customised Land Rover as a hearse is a characteristic touch. The funeral has to be fairly small and private - even though it is a royal ceremonial funeral - because of the Covid restrictions.  I think the Duke would have been glad about that, he hated fuss.  But it's a shame for the thousands who would willingly have turned out to thank this remarkable man for his years of service. 

Coming out of Lockdown (Again)

The government thankfully has learnt a few lessons from the pandemic and one of them was not allowing us to resume normal life immediately after the easing of a lockdown.

Gail Hanlon from over 50s style blog Is This Mutton in fuchsia, black and white in her home office overlooking the garden

With over 47% of the population now vaccinated at least once, things are not quite as dire as they were, although I always remind people that the UK still to this day heads the list of countries with the highest number of deaths per million of population.  This week saw some more relaxations of the rules.  For me, it's nice to see non-essential shops open again in the local community.  I won't be heading into London any time soon to visit a big store, mainly because I hardly ever did prior to Covid.

We won't be dining al fresco outside a pub or restaurant either.  It's still only around 9 degrees during the day (48 fahrenheit) so it would be very cold in the evening.  I am looking forward to having my hair done at last, next Monday. 

The next big milestone for me is when the government confirms that from May 17 we will be allowed to stay at hotels and dine indoors at restaurants. Most importantly, the Rule of 6 or 2 households will apply indoors, so I will be able to see my mum at last - she lives 250 miles from me so it has not been possible and I haven't seen her since September.

What are the milestones you are most eager for?  Do let me know in the comments.

Unexcited About Dressing Up

I may be in a minority here, as the fashion editors seem to be in a frenzy about buying dresses and high heels.  I scrolled through a few websites at the weekend looking at dresses but they're either like tents to conceal the Covid kilos,  or they have elasticated waists. Eether way, there are a lot of floral and ditsy prints around which don't float my boat. 

So apologies for showing yet more of the same as I continue to celebrate the colours that suit me, while lamenting the fact that knowing the colours that suit you precludes you from a lot of others! 

Maybe a big occasion later in the year will prompt me to want something new to wear but at the moment I'm happy with my existing wardrobe - some of it didn't see the light of day last year. 

One thing I have been buying is accessories.  I've bought a couple of belts and quite a few pieces of jewellery, including the "Anna Wintour" style Swarovski necklaces - above I'm wearing two pairs. 

Pairing zingy acid yellow with bright violet and white: Is This Mutton blogger Gail Hanlon

Above, trying the alleged "leg lengthening" properties of having trousers and footwear in the same colour. Below: the skirt was an impulse buy two or three years ago, but boy have I got good value from it, it goes with everything.  The boots have also given me a lot of joy.  

Nothing was gifted for this post and no affiliate links used.

Sharing this post with: #OnMondaysWeLinkUp at Glass of GlamTop of the World Style at High Latitude Style, Chic & Stylish at Mummabstylish, #LinkupOnTheEdge at Shelbee on the Edge, #AnythingGoes at My Random Musings, Thursday Moda at Elegance and Mommyhood, Turning Heads Tuesday at Elegantly Dressed and Stylish,  Style with a Smile  at StylesplashStyle Six at Coast to CoastTFF at Doused in Pink, Fancy Friday at Nancy's Fashion Style,  #Iwillwearwhatilike at Not Dressed as Lamb, Lizzie in Lace Confident Twosday at IDoDeclaireBeauty by Miss L, Rena at Fine WhateverFabulous Fridays at Lucy Bertoldi, #Neverendingstyle @ The Grey Brunette

Adding a bit of wow to an outfit with Anna Wintour style crystal necklaces:  Is This Mutton blogger Gail Hanlon

Now it's time for #WowOnWednesday, the link-up where readers find new blogs to read, and bloggers find new readers.

Last Week's Favourites (Most Clicked)

Penny from Frugal Fashion Shopper with her post "How did this happen?" It's a question we constantly ask ourselves as we get older! Penny was talking about her 75th birthday and ageing, and how she started her blog as a way of tracking the ageing process out of interest.  I used to do the same with annual passport booth photos and I wish I hadn't stopped doing it. Penny is a great role model showing that we can still look edgy and cool, and good in our clothes, as we get older. 

Another edgy dresser is Hilda from Over the Hilda, who chose a pair of stunning white Doc Martens when a local retailer invited her to choose something to promote their personal service. In her post "Online Shopping with Charisma Fashions is Still Personal" Hilda explains how Charisma Fashions still manages to stay personal even with a website and closed doors during the pandemic.

My favourite non-fashion post was by Michelle and Fifty and Fab, who wrote about the benefits of flaxseeds for those going through the menopause. The recipes looked delicious, which is part of the battle because in the past I've often bought seeds or trendy grains and then they've languished in the cupboard because I don't know what to do with them.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

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  1. Your colour fun and dramatic outfits are inspiring Gail. And although the brands may think the knee jerk reaction of many will be to buy dresses and heels can, many of us aren’t convinced and will carry on using what we have. It seems rather wasteful to buy a dress that another potential lockdown will prevent us wearing.
    Great piece on Philip.
    I’m so pleased for you to be seeing your lovely mum again soon.
    Hugs x .

  2. Your colour fun and dramatic outfits are inspiring Gail. And although the brands may think the knee jerk reaction of many will be to buy dresses and heels can, many of us aren’t convinced and will carry on using what we have. It seems rather wasteful to buy a dress that another potential lockdown will prevent us wearing.
    Great piece on Philip.
    I’m so pleased for you to be seeing your lovely mum again soon.
    Hugs x .


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