Monday, June 18, 2012

Jubilee Celebrations - part 2

(Another reminder for new blog readers - you can view the pictures in a slideshow by clicking on one and then scrolling through with the arrow keys on your keyboard)

The plan for Tuesday was a busy one for the Queen. First up was a celebration service at Westminster Abbey, followed by a banquet lunch, then a carriage ride to Buckingham Palace, and finally a balcony appearance with a flyover by the Royal Air Force. Phew! She sure is one busy lady, and doing so well for her 86 years of age.

We learnt from our experiences on Sunday and set out an hour and a half earlier on Tuesday. The trains were less busy than Sunday, and so we were hopeful that we would be able to get a good spot to view the Queen's carriage journey to Buckingham Palace. Tell him he's dreaming!

We left Charing Cross station and walked to a packed Trafalgar Square only to see large billboards reading "THE MALL IS FULL. VIEW FROM HYDE PARK". Hyde Park?! And The Mall full 2.5 hours before the Queen was due to appear?!

The routes we took. Google estimates
we walked an epic 7.7 kms that day....
So we began our walk up the hill to Hyde Park. We found a good spot and sat and waited. Finally, the footage began.
So did the rain. We stuck it out for a while, then when we heard that The Mall - the road leading to Buckingham Palace - had been re-opened to the public we set off in the hope that we might get to view the Queen on the Palace balcony.

On our way there, we were met by all the Queen's horses, and were thus treated to an unexpected parade. Hurrah!

Once again, London's transport-planning Police were the "heroes" of the day. Roads closed, pedestrians re-routed, parks closed... basically a whole pile of confusion and we ended up wandering around for half an hour trying - and failing - to get to Buckingham Palace. In the end, we spotted a few canny people sitting on the footpath behind a large intersection at the back of Buckingham Palace Gardens. We realised that this would be the perfect spot to view the RAF flyover, so we stood and waited.

And nearly missed it!! The planes seemed to come out of nowhere, and it was lucky that I had the camera on, set to the right settings, and ready to go. The flyover was fabulous, and a real highlight of the weekend. We were so glad to be able to see it, and it felt like a real triumph after the frustrations of our other attempts to get in on the action.

The Battle of Britain planes.

All too soon it was over, and feeling satisfied (albeit wet through and with very tired legs), we made our way through the thronging crowds to the closest good coffee joint and warmed ourselves up with a hot drink. It's amazing what a good RAF flyover and coffee can do for one's morale!

God save the Queen!

1 comment:

  1. Hi Michelle! Sorry to take so long to get back to you. I would love to meet up for coffee if there is time.

    There won't be much time (we're pretty packed for our time in London!) but David has some meetings he is in the process of arranging so there will be time for me to wander off by my self.

    Are you in the City? He has a meeting at Kings College (in the city?) maybe we could meet there?

    The dates haven't been confirmed yet and we are off to Paris tonight but I will have access to emails so please feel free to email me -