Well let me just say first, we had a WONDERFUL time at Trooping the Colour! It was one of those days where you keep thinking, ‘I can’t believe that I’m here’. Our day started early. We caught the train at 7am and headed into London on Saturday morning. We had a nice ride into the city. Once we arrived at Paddington Station, we headed for the tube. We took the tube to Westminster. Here’s the view once we were above ground again. Do you recognize this fella? (smile)
We then walked around to the event site at Horse Guard’s Parade which is alongside St. James Park. The park is lovely. We timed things just right because there weren’t huge crowds when we got there and we were able to go through the security area quite easily. Here’s a view of the surroundings as we went along to get in line for security.
There were only a few people there when we arrived so we were able to soak it all in and enjoy the vibe. As I said, we timed it right though because people really began to arrive about ten minutes after we sat down and some people just made it in in time. We had to be seated by 10am. Here are a couple of photos of the scene before everything got going.
Here’s a photo of a Welsh Guard who was performing ushering duties and helping everyone find their seats.
We were sitting on the last row in our section, so we were situated right underneath the BBC box and sometimes we could hear them doing their commentary. Here’s a photo of some of the other various cameras that were perched behind us. I took this photo upside down.
And now I’ll give you a taste of how it all went, starting with the first band marching in. Here they are scattered around just for fun.
Here are a couple of photos of the Queen arriving and doing a ride around of the grounds. Behind her on the right on horseback, is Princess Anne, riding along in her dark uniform.
Here are a couple of more photos.
The Royal Standard (flag) is raised when she is in attendance. Here it is on the left.
After the whole spectacular display was over, we made our way onto the parade ground and watched our step due to natural “stuff” on the ground. (smile) We decided to go and walk along The Mall to see if we could just soak up some more of the atmosphere and possibly see the flyover of the military aircrafts.
This was a cool part of the day because we weren’t in any real hurry and we were just loving that we were getting the chance to walk right down the middle of The Mall on the way to Buckingham Palace. People had been lining the streets during everything and after the event was over, loads of people were walking around enjoying it all. Here’s a lovely view of our walk along in both directions, the first photo is towards the palace and the second is away.
We figured that the crowds would be huge down near the palace, but when we got there, people were milling around here and there and the crowd was loosely packed. So we kept getting closer and closer to the palace balcony. And then lo and behold, here came the Royal Family in all their glory onto the balcony and so I started snapping photos. Here’s the family photo. (smile)
This was a hilarious exercise because the sun was shining right into my eyes and I couldn’t see a thing, but somehow the photos came out pretty good. LOL. I was shocked. And for a moment I thought, I can’t believe this…it’s so surreal. Those are the real royals and not statues from Madame Tussauds museum. It was one of the most truly surreal moments of my life. When I came over to England a few years ago, it NEVER entered my mind that I would EVER see any of the royals. I never really expected anything like that. I had seen scenes like this on television back home and while I've been here, so it was great to see it all in real life.
Back to the Trooping the Colour event for a minute, Brit Boy and I found out that apparently 20,000 requests were made for tickets to Trooping the Colour and only 8,000 people were in attendance. And some tickets were given to VIPs, so the pool of potential tickets was even smaller, so we were just amazed about those odds. (smile)
As we walked away afterward, I told Brit Boy that I learned a valuable lesson from getting the tickets and from our unexpectedly great view of the Royal Family. I learned that you just simply have to go for WHATEVER you want in life and see what happens. You never know. I needed that lesson. What a great day we had!
And hey, for Brit Boy's view of the day, please visit his blog and read all about it.