We headed to London on Thursday morning, the 28th, by bus and train. When we arrived in London we made our way to our hotel to drop off our bags. Then we headed out to see the last minute preparations and see what kind of action was going on. We headed to Westminster Abbey and there were loads of people walking around. There were loads of media around and we saw recognizable reporters amongst the crowds getting interviews with people in the crowds. There were quite a few people camped out too and there was a definite buzz in the air.
Leading up to the side of Westminster Abbey
Front of Westminster Abbey the day before royal wedding
Some of the media across from Westminster Abbey
Then we headed to Buckingham Palace to check things out. Lots of people were camped out along The Mall and there were loads of media and people walking about here too, but the crowds weren’t as big. Since this was a bit of a strategic trip out, we decided that standing along The Mall would be the best place for us to catch a glimpse of things the next day. We really enjoyed soaking up the atmosphere as there was lots of happy anticipation in the air.
Top: Some media across from Buckingham Palace;Middle: Views along The Mall; Bottom: On the way to The Mall (all taken the day before the wedding)
I noticed something when we were watching the various media outlets in their makeshift studios. Whenever they wanted to have cheering in the background, they would have someone on their staff out to the side waving their arms in order to get people to whoop and holler :) And nearly every one of the news studios from different countries did it. A great unifying practice ;-) They also motioned people over who had signs so that they could get them in the background of their live shots whilst their anchors interviewed people. It was surreal and very orchestrated. Who knew? ;-) It was fun to watch. Brit Boy and I hung out for a while longer and played “spot the news anchor”, and then we headed off for a bite to eat. Then we went back to the hotel to chill in preparation for our early start the next day.
On the day of the royal wedding, also our wedding anniversary, we got up and out a bit before 6am. Some people were already out besides those who camped overnight, but not that many. We took a place along The Mall and stood behind some ladies who had camped out and a couple who got there a few minutes before us. Later loads of people filled in behind us. We got a very good spot considering the fact that we didn’t camp out for a spot. The couple in front of us were very nice and we chatted a lot. It was a great way to pass the time together as we all waited. The couple were from the United States like myself and have been living in London for a short time due to the husband’s short-term job assignment here. The ladies who camped out were from South Africa and England, whilst behind us there was a lady from Argentina. It was a very eclectic group in our little section. My own main personal intention for going to see the royal wedding was to experience this global event and that’s exactly what it was. I heard many accents from all around the UK, the USA, continental Europe, Africa, Asia, and everywhere around the world. It was truly a sea of humanity! And I loved that Brit Boy and I got the chance to be a part of this crowd and a part of history.
We were very lucky to get such a good place to watch. Crowds quickly swarmed in right after we got there. It was quite a crunch to be standing there and not be able to move our feet, but it was worth it in the end. Speaking of feet, our hands and feet were freezing. It was a chilly day and there was a cold wind blowing.
Top: The guards & tv cameras; Middle: The Fabulous Band; Bottom: Excited happy people :)
We tried to get some photos, but it was a tough assignment :) Some are rather blurred so I won’t bore you with them. When the royals were heading to the church, the cars sped by very quickly and the crowd went into a frenzy...so I got some pretty random shots. We could hear the ceremony on loudspeakers and they had these programs for sale for £2.
When they all headed back to Buckingham Palace, they came back at a slower pace but it was still tough to get a good shot. But I’ll tell you, seeing it all was something that I’ll never forget :)
Top four: Prince William & Kate; Middle: Prince Charles, Duchess of Cornwall, & Kate's parents; Bottom two: Queen Elizabeth & the Duke of Edinburgh
After they all passed by we made our way down The Mall towards Buckingham Palace. We had been standing for about seven hours so we were a bit stiff. The crowd bottlenecked at one point, so we took a shortcut through St. James Park and somehow got closer to the palace than we expected considering how enormous the crowd was. It was quite a crush so my photos turned out kinda random, but I got a few. We saw the balcony appearance and both of the kisses.
All of the above: the balcony appearance :)
And then it was over. We didn’t see Prince William and Kate drive out in the car, because like many others we had dispersed. However, the memories of those days will stay with us forever!
Here are a few inexpensive things we picked up as souvenirs. The free things were being passed out at or around train stations.
Top: flag £1; Middle: tea - free; Bottom: card - free:)
Brit Boy and I made our way out of the crowd slowly...it was quite a crunch, and then we headed to Covent Garden to have our anniversary lunch/dinner. It was so delicious and we were so hungry by that point. It was truly a wonderful day...and it was one that we’ll never forget. We were so happy to be there to witness it all!
The Mall heading to Buckingham Palace the day after the royal wedding:)
The day after, we had a bit of time to kill before we caught our train, so we went back to see how things were the day after. A lot of the scaffolding was being dismantled along The Mall and at the temporary television studios. And the sky was a beautiful blue...a perfect way to end a great trip!
P.S. ~ Check out Brit Boy's post about it at his blog: Getting Busy Living