Thursday, June 7, 2012

Confessions of a Royal Watcher

I posted yesterday about our experience at the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant.
I still can't believe we got pictures of the Royals.  

On Monday, we stayed in and watched the Diamond Jubilee Concert on TV.
I'm so glad the skies cleared on that day.  It must have been amazing to be there.

I loved Prince Charles referring to the Queen as "Mummy."  Too cute!
And her smile is just precious.  

On Tuesday, a Royal Procession and a Balcony Appearance were scheduled.
I was still flying high since I'd seen the Queen on Sunday.
(Don't argue with me.  Just smile and nod.)  

So, we decided that we just wanted to get out
and be a part of the atmosphere for the last day of celebrations.
If there was a sighting, then great.  But, if not, that was okay too.

This time we made sure to bring Sugar Bear along for the ride.  

We started with a quick visit to Selfridges Department Store and Hamleys Toy Shop.  

Hamleys is a massive toy store that has been around for over 250 years.
Check out the Queen Elizabeth II image in the window.  It's all LEGOS!

 Another Royal sighting!!  All LEGOS!  Pretty cool, huh? 
I really must work on my royal wave.  Frantic hummingbird hand is so not proper form.

We popped in to a Pub to escape the rain and have a Gin & Tonic in honor of Her Majesty.

You thought I was joking about the tiaras didn't you?

Then we started to make our way towards the palace along every other person in London.
The police and event staff were doing such a great job of managing the crowds.
But, this meant that the closest we could get was to Trafalgar Square.

 Which was actually fine because there was a big screen so we could see the balcony appearance.

 52 days until the Olympics start!! 

And the flyovers were right over our heads.  

 WWII era Dakota flanked by King Air aircrafts

 WWII era Lancaster Bomber flanked by Spitfires and Hurricanes

The Royal Air Force Red Arrows

Everything ended with a gun salute, a rousing rendition of "God Save the Queen" and confetti cannons.

Another exciting, wonderful Diamond Jubilee experience!

I've been thinking a lot about why I'm so intrigued by British Royalty.
There's been  a lot of commentary lately about Americans and their love of everything British.  
It usually includes some good-natured ribbing after that whole Revolution thing. 

For me, it ties right in to my love of history.  From a little girl, I've always loved a good story.
Historical novels just pull me right in to an exciting and romantic world of damsels and knights of the realm.  
And the British monarchy is living history, isn't it?   
Queen Elizabeth II can trace her lineage back to King Alfred the Great who ruled in the 7th Century. 

And who can resist a good love story?  William and Kate fit that niche quite nicely.
And sadly, tragedy always plays a part in a good story.
I remember crying as I watched the wedding of Charles and Diana
and then again, as I watched her funeral procession.

And, as I've learned more about Queen Elizabeth II,
I've really come to respect and admire her as a woman.
 I've flitted through life a bit, landing here and there but never really settling in.
And here is a woman who made a commitment at the young age of 26
and has spent the last 60 years faithfully fulfilling that commitment.
I deeply admire her steadfast nature and inherent loyalty.

So, I will gladly own up to being a proud American with a soft spot for the British Royalty.

What about you?  What draws you in?



  1. What awesome pictures once again! I love the legos. Those are fantastic.

    I think what draws me in to the Royal Family is how they have given their life to service and they are now far less dependent on taxpayers income than they used to be. I think she has been rather liberal in adapting to such massive change during her reign. That I find highly admirable!

  2. Haha you are so much more British than me with all that celebrating you did! I'm afraid as you know my heart lies much more with all things American so I didn't do anything to celebrate the Jubilee...but just wait til July 4th rolls around, I'll be celebrating with bells on! I haven't even watched any of the stuff happening on T.V so it was good to see some of it through your pics! The red white and blue smoke from the planes was a pretty cool touch! So glad that you are having an amazing time with your daughter, it must be so great to have her here with you! Hope the fun continues and the farewell won't be too sad...and I totally love your Tiaras!!

  3. As a British Expat living in America I haven't missed the Royal family or anything Royal. I wasn't very into the Royal Wedding but I did watch it with my wife who was excited and eager to watch it. Myself, growing up in Britain I never really cared about them. I don't consider myself a Royalist really and I have nothing against them as individuals, I realise their significance to Royalists and their history is undoubtedly fascinating but they never really affected me in any way. I grew up all around Britain and have encountered Hardcore Royalists in Scotland, Wales and England. The Red Arrows bring back wonderful childhood memories of seeing them fly over South Devon and do their aerial acrobatics and smoke displays. My wife is far more impressed by Royalty than I am. Maybe because she didn't grow up hearing about them as much as I did? I don't know. I'm glad you're enjoying your time in London. It's a wonderful city that I do miss terribly sometimes! I'm happy to have your reports. I'm keeping Texas warm (and it is BLOODY warm here!) and glad you're doing the same! :-)

  4. I'm a Royal Watcher, too! I really like Queen Elizabeth II. But I’m probably one of the very few people who does not like London. We were there for 2 weeks last month, and it’s not to our liking. Maybe London is for the young. Everyone smokes. Not good for my child who has asthma. And it’s dirty. If I were to live in England, it’ll be in the countryside. I love Oxfordshire.

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