Friends who were at last night's Last Night of the BBC Proms 2011 had so much fun. This is when Brits let their hair down. Ignore the militarist element, and the attention seekers, focus on ordinary people having fun. The minute I got home last night from the Opening Concert at the Wigmore Hall, lots of lovely messages. The Last Night is something I only watch to see what friends in the Arena are up to. Great warm evening for the dinner jackets and evening gowns, lovely photos, everyone grinning. And then two "strangers" go up and crown Sir Henry Wood's bust with laurels. Could not recognize Nick in a DJ as his native costume is rather different! Watch Susan Bullock, the kitschiest Boadicea in years! What crazy trills, and that's the voice not the outfit.
So different, too, from the 2001 Prom which was just after 9/11.
Years ago the LNoP was plagued by those who used it as a platform (which is where the flag waving came in). But even then, not everyone was jingoistic. When my mother went in 1945, a refugee fresh from camp, the Last Night really did symbolize "Hope and Glory". But even she wouldn't have liked militarist barracking, (which was what led to her being in camp in the first place). So thank goodness they now only allocate tickets to real regulars not opportunists. Please read this good article in the Telegraph .