Published: May 3rd 2011April 29th 2011
One pound well spent
The happy couple in all their glory
Normally my musings come to you from various locations across the globe, but the last few weeks in London have be glorious and so I thought Ye Olde London town deserved a bit of praise for a change (it’s either this or a selection of snowy mountain shots from my various snowboarding trips this year, I think you’ve seen enough of them from me in the past).
I'm not usually one to participate in public spectacles (generally the general public annoy me somewhat, and don’t get me started on tourists who can’t follow the Tube rules, stand on the right!) but perhaps it was the extra day off work that put me in a patriotic mood, and I decide to head in to town to witness the pomp and ceremony of the Royal Wedding of Wills and Kate.
The weather in London, as across the rest of the UK, has been fantastic over the last couple of weeks and with two four day weekends in a row, London seemed to be full of a lot of very happy people. The South Bank is celebrating the anniversary of the Festival of Britain at the moment with beach huts, sandy beach
Someone from Tonga got an invite
One of the many fancy cars we came across
and outdoor gardens so it is a great place to hang out in the good weather.
So in to town for the wedding, naturally I left it until the last minute to head in and arrived at Victoria station about 10.30 thinking I’d wander off to the palace to hang around. After a quick tacky flag purchase and about 10 minutes walk we got as far as one of the roads by the side of the palace. Judging by all the rather posh cars, I think we had come across the guest’s car park by the looks of it, lots of very black, very big cars with signs of crowns in their window, so I guess it was a good assumption to make.
Just heading around the corner we found some barriers along the road and a TV camera opposite. There weren’t too many people so we hung around to see what was coming. Seems we picked the right place as it was just after the Goring Hotel and the route that Kate Middleton was taking, so we got to see her and the bridesmaids go past, this was surprisingly quite exciting, I guess it’s what you call
You can tell he's British
Not by the jacket, but the patient queuing.
So figuring that that was our lot from that vantage point we tried to head in to the Mall, however due to a slight lack of overnight camping and getting up at 5am, it seems the Mall was already full so that effort was thwarted, so an alternative route was plotted. Heading towards the Abbey we found yet again we couldn’t get there but did catch all the Horsemen and carriages on their way to the Abbey to pick up the guests for the parade. The site of all the Horse Guards going past was amazing, the horses were beautiful and there were a lot of them.
At this point it was clear to see that there were rather a lot of people who had also decided to come and watch the wedding, so many foreign tourists had come to London from all over the globe. You could generally tell the British by the amount of fancy dress going on. Judging by the amount of wedding dresses on the streets, the UK charity shops must have been doing good business the week before. Still, the atmosphere everywhere was great and everybody seemed to be having a
Here comes the cavalry
Sister, you need to buy that pony!
really enjoyable day.
Figuring getting on the Mall now was going to be a problem, we headed off the Hyde Park to watch the balcony kiss on the big screed, annoyingly this was probably the wrong decision since they let a lot of people back on the Mall later on, but we didn’t know that at the time. On the walk to the park we passed the Goring hotel complete with anti-bomb barrier and dress hiding canopy and strolled up to the big screen area of the park.
This was clearly where the serious partying was going on, the place was full of picnicking people who had started on the champagne early on. The park was a sea of wedding dresses ,red, white and blue outfits and flags . As they showed the kiss on the balcony on the big screens the whole park cheered and waved their flags, the noise was incredible. Then my favourite part of the day as the fly past of the Battle of Britain planes went over the park, spectacular (well I am a bit of a plane spotter on the quiet), it was a good day to be British.
The Goring Hotel
Where the Middletons resided, nice to see lots of protection for them!
celebrations died down, we headed back towards Waterloo via the Mall and Palace, there were still hundreds of thousands of people everywhere. The media were still in full flow in their specially built media rabbit hutches, the world’s press had certainly descended and you could see all the presenters in their posh frocks and hats. One thing I noticed was the smell of horse manure was getting a bit stronger as the day went on, plenty of free manure for London’s gardeners that day.
Normally I avoid any mass crowd events like this like the plague, but I’m glad I went in to town for this one, I still can’t get over how much I enjoyed the day, good thing really as I’ve been paying a lot of tax over the years so it’s good to get something back for my money.
If you can be bothered sit through the videos you can get an idea of how excited everyone was, the quality isn’t great but the cheering says it all. Ah well, normal service has resumed, it’s gone a bit cold and no more long weekends for a while, still it was like a mini-holiday while it
Not so look alikes
Seems anyone who has a vague resemblance to them were out in force
There are more photos below