Proud monarchist Simon Hart has often featured in these pages and has frequently mentioned one of his favourite childhood haunts – the U-Need-Us Portsmouth party store.
As a child, with his nose pressed against the window of the Arundel Street shop, he could never have dreamed that one day his own creations would be featured in the display.
If you pop along to the shop for the next few days you will see Simon’s hand-made tribute to the Queen who, next Wednesday, will become the nation’s longest-reigning monarch.
Simon, from Fareham, says: ‘I have loaned to U-Need-Us my tinted framed photograph from the Dorothy Wilding Studios of the Queen at the beginning of her reign. It now appears in the beautifully-decorated window to mark next week’s historic occasion.’
There is also his cardboard cake.
Simon adds: ‘It was inspired by wartime when cardboard cake covers were fashionable because of the rationing of sugar. The adornments are inspired by the past and include wallpaper beads in red, white and blue, a red pompom made in the traditional way through an old cardboard milk bottle top, and tassles.
‘The piping was done with a vintage metal Nutbrown deluxe icing set.
‘These are all things readers may have made during their childhood,’ he adds.
He has also written this poem to mark the day, verse he has sent to the Queen.
Longest Reign Day
Just once in a lifetime
You’ll be able to say
‘Hip hip hooray,
It’s longest reign day!’
This 9th day of September
is a day to remember
In the 64th year of the reign
History is made again
In the year of our Lord
Two thousand and fifteen
Longest reign day is
achieved by our Queen!