Royal fan decorates Carrickfergus’ home to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee

A woman from Co Antrim was busy decorating her home for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.

Patriotic banners and flags have been strewn about the home and garden of Sheila Loughlin, who very appropriately lives on Coronation Road in Carrickfergus.

And taking pride of place in Sheila’s exhibit is a beautiful cardboard cutout of Her Majesty waving to the crowd.

Read more: Beacons light up the sky over Northern Ireland for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee

Like many others, Sheila, 51, went all out to celebrate the Queen’s 70th anniversary on the throne.

“I’ve been collecting items for the last few months leading up to the platinum anniversary — I just ordered and ordered,” Sheila admitted.

“The Amazon man was certainly busy! I assume I spent well over £100 and the cardboard cut out cost around £38 but it’s well worth it. I love them more than anything – the cardboard version and the real one!

“I’ve loaned my cardboard queen to the local nursing home for the day, but she usually stands by my front window waving at everyone.”

For her neighbors, patriotic decorations outside Sheila’s house are nothing new as she decorates her home and yard for the Twelfth each year, but she says this year’s effort is very special.

“The decoration was put up on Sunday evening – my partner did it while I stood at the bottom of the ladder giving directions!” she added.

“I love doing this every year and the neighbors always know it’s coming. I am following in my mother’s footsteps as she always has.

“I have memories of her house and the street around the corner at Alexandra Place, which were always decorated.”

For Sheila, this is her fourth anniversary celebration. She was just seven years old when the Queen celebrated her Silver Jubilee in 1977.

“I remember everyone collecting clothes because a neighbor had a sewing machine, so she made red, white, and blue triangles for the bunting,” she recalled.

“We had all the tables set for the street party and everyone was dressed up.”

A cardboard queen has pride of place in Sheila's home
A cardboard queen has pride of place in Sheila’s home

“For the Diamond Jubilee 2012 I organized a big street party for the local community and we had a DJ and bouncy castles in the countryside.

“All these kids are grown now so this year only family and friends will be joining me on Sunday to celebrate Her Majesty so it won’t be that big last time.”

“This year the decorations needed to be a little more special to honor and show our appreciation for a woman who has provided 70 years of public service to her country.

“The neighbors also have some decorations, but they don’t go as far as I do. For me, the Queen is worth every penny.”

Sheila Loughlin's home in Carrickfergus, all decorated to celebrate the Queen's Platinum Jubilee
Sheila Loughlin’s home in Carrickfergus, all decorated to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee

Thursday marked the start of a long bank holiday weekend in Northern Ireland which will also include a visit from the Earl and Countess of Wessex.

The royal couple are expected to perform two engagements in the region on Saturday.

As well as the gun salute at Royal Hillsborough, the Queen’s official residence, beacons were lit in cities and towns across Northern Ireland to celebrate the commemoration.

Large lunchtime events take place throughout the region at weekends, including on the Shankill Road and in Bangor, Co Down, which was made a town as part of the centenary celebrations.

Read more: Queen’s Platinum Jubilee: A 42-gun salute marks the beginning of the celebrations in NI

READ ALSO: Police warn of traffic delays in parts of Belfast over the next four days

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