The Commercial Appeal

A royal party; Dolly’s new book


Queen Elizabeth II’s subjects serenaded her with impromptu renditions of “Happy Birthday,” on Sunday, as the monarch slowly drove past some 10,000 people attending a massive street fair in her honor.

The drive past in the “Queen mobile” was the highlight of the party on The Mall, the road leading to Buckingham Palace. The picnic is the grand finale of a weekend of official events marking the monarch’s 90th birthday and celebrated some 600 charities to which she lends her patronage.

This being Britain, it rained. But those picnic baskets came out regardless.

The partygoers put on ponchos included with admission — umbrellas were banned — and just got on with having a good time while waiting for her to emerge from the palace.

She didn’t disappoint them. Speaking from the heart, she unexpected­ly came to the microphone to thank them for their support and encouragem­ent. She closed with a bit of wit.

“How I will feel if people are still singing Happy Birthday in December remains to be seen,” she quipped. Queen Elizabeth II Dolly Parton

Before the queen’s arrival, members of the royal family strolled along the edge of the crowds. Prince William, his wife Kate, and Prince Harry shook hands, patted the tops of children’s heads and found themselves framed in countless selfies.

Dolly has a book

Dolly Parton is the latest musician to have one of her songs become a book.

Grosset & Dunlap, an imprint of Penguin Young Readers, announced Thursday that it will release “The Coat of Many Colors” on Oct. 18. Based on her classic song about her childhood in rural Tennessee, the book will feature illustrati­ons by Brooke Boynton Hughes and a downloadab­le song by Parton, “Making Fun Ain’t Funny.”

“Every year I receive dozens of letters and emails from teachers talking about how they use the song (‘Coat of Many Colors’) in their classroom to discuss being proud of who you are, that being different is not a bad thing, that every person is special and the terrible consequenc­es of being bullied,” Parton, a longtime advocate for children’s literacy, said in a statement issued through her publisher. “It has always made me feel honored that my little song has been used in this way.”

Parton, 70, wrote her ballad in 1971 about the “rags” her mother sewed together so Dolly would have a coat. She wore it proudly to school, only to be mocked by her fellow students.

Other songs that inspired recent books include Tim McGraw’s “Humble and Kind” and Pharrell Williams’ “Happy.”

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