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Alexandria Celebrates Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee


paul taylor, a cardboard cut out of queen elizabeth ii, and freda woodbridge
Paul Taylor and Freda Wooldridge with a cardboard likeness of Queen Elizabeth II (Photo Grace Billups Arnold)

ALEXANDRIA, VA–On Saturday, June 4, 2022, Queen Elizabeth II celebrated her Platinum Jubilee—across the world, millions celebrated with her. Over 16,000 Platinum Jubilee parties were held in her honor, one of them being at the Old Town Village right here in Alexandria.

the front door of the Old Town Village in Alexandria pool house decorated with red and blue balloons
The Old Town Village in Alexandria is ready to celebrate the Platinum Jubilee. (Photo Grace Billups Arnold)

The Platinum Jubilee celebration was hosted by Freda Wooldridge and Paul Taylor, British Citizens who live at the Village. “We came to Alexandria in 2010,” explains Wooldridge. “My husband was retiring from Shell Oil, so we had previously been living in Houston. We decided we wanted to move to the East Coast and we found Alexandria and loved it. We’ve been thrilled we moved here ever since.”

a crowd of people gathered on a patio around a cardboard cutout of Queen Elizabeth II
The crowd gathered for the Queen’s procession with her crown jewels and corgi, Poppy. (Photo Grace Billups Arnold)

In Freda and Paul’s dozen years in Alexandria, this was the first Jubilee party they had thrown. “I have not thrown a party like this before,” states Freda. “I felt this Platinum Jubilee for 70 years was the perfect occasion; she is remarkable at the job and a remarkable woman, and I wanted to honor her.”

a buffet table with flowers and English Flag dishes
The buffet was ready to go! (Photo Grace Billups Arnold)

After seventy years upon the throne and at the age of 96, this will most likely be the Queen’s last Jubilee. Freda remembers watching her coronation on television in 1953, so the culmination of celebrating Queen Elizabeth’s reign at this Platinum Jubilee party is truly a full circle moment for Freda.

a table cloth with the image of Queen Elizabeth II on it
The table cloth’s were brought over from England. (Photo Grace Billups Arnold)

The Old Town Village party featured QEII banners straight from Great Britain, themed food—coronation chicken and Platinum Pudding, to name a few—and a procession of the crown jewels, the Queen, and her corgi, Poppy.

coronation chicken is a chicken casserole being scooped by a man onto a plate
The Coronation Chicken was a big hit. (Photo Grace Billups Arnold)

Earlier in the day, a children’s party was held with crown making and photos with the Queen. During the two events, everyone was encouraged to donate to the Child and Family Network Center. “Two people in the community work on the board,” explains Freda. “It really is just a fabulous organization and they do great work.”

a bowl of trifle, called platinum pudding, of vanilla cake, custard, topped with whipped cream,
The Platinum Pudding was voted on in the UK for the themed desert for the Platinum Jubilee. (Photo Grace Billups Arnold)

This might be the only Jubilee party Old Town Village gets to throw for Queen Elizabeth, but long will her memory reign throughout the world.

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