Archive for April 22nd, 2016

I went to Windsor to see The Queen! 🙂  Yesterday was Queen Elizabeth II’s 90th birthday, and as soon as I discovered she was due to do a walkabout in Windsor I made my way there double quick.  Well not quite….I slept over in London at the YHA the night before 😉

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Chelsea Bridge and the Albert Bridge in the distance

I set off for London on the 18:57 train to Victoria Station, slept over at the Earls Court YHA, up and about by 6am on Thursday….and by 07:38 I arrived in Windsor. Thrilling stuff.

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The Queen: A full-scale replica of the GWR Achilles built in 1894. No examples of these locomotives survive and were withdrawn from service in 1912. This model is located on the platform of the station at Windsor Central

The reason I got there so early was to ensure I found a good space at the front…these events fill up pretty darn quick, but to my surprise there were only about 40 people ahead of me! I wandered about for a bit, checking out this spot and that, and then finally made my decision: it had to be facing the castle and it had to be in shade and I was hoping Her Majesty would walk down my side of the road….

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Not yet much of a crowd, but a few stalwarts were there as well as a group (the ladies in pink with the big pink 90 balloon) from Cardiff, who apparently left their city at 6am

I settled in and quickly made friends with the people around me. We chatted and swopped stories, where we were from and why we were there etc. We also had a very entertaining couple of hours people watching.

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See the lady directly in the middle with the British Flag glasses! She held court and entertained the crowds….an American lady, she was loud, forward and hilarious!!

One of the first people I saw was Carol Kirkwood doing a piece to camera for the BBC News

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our lass Carol Kirkwood doing a piece to camera for BBC News with a Town Crier watching on – this was at 07:46 in the morning 😉

and then Terry Hutt; one of The Queen’s lifelong fans.  When I saw Terry’s outfit I realised I need to up my game…. LOL

As the crowds swelled and the time drew near the level of excitement escalated. Suddenly we saw Joey!!! The horse from the play War Horse. That was an added thrill to the day.

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Joey; War Horse joins the celebrations

Then just before 11am the Coldstream Guards arrived for Changing the Guard in the castle grounds.

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The Coldstream Guards – Changing the Guard at Windsor Castle

They marched them up the hill, then marched them down again…..to just beyond the gates where they made themselves comfortable and played some stunning pieces of music…they really are very good.

Then at 12noon and without further ado Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II arrived in her smashing Bentley and stopped just before the welcome party. After being greeted by the Mayor(ess) and assembled guests, to my absolute delight I saw that Her Majesty was walking down our side of the road!!! OMG!!! Hoorah.

Then I started praying that she wouldn’t do her zag before she got to where we were standing, which would have given me the zig!!!

But she didn’t and I did get to see her – from just two feet away. If I wasn’t filming I swear I would have swooned with sheer excitement…..but you can’t interrupt a good opportunity to film The Queen by passing out in the street. LOL

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Looking fresh and sprightly in spring green – I loved her hat!!!

However, I did almost lose my footing….as she got near the crowd behind swooped forward and I was nearly knocked off my feet, almost dropping my camera in the process…the barrier suddenly felt very flimsy as it swayed with the weight of the crowd. It was a little bit scary, and I wasn’t impressed with that at all. However, we managed and my word the roar of excitement when she arrived…fantastic.

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the crowd surges forward….

She looked absolutely stunning in her spring green outfit with a perfect hat perched on top of those lovely grey curls, a gorgeous smile on her face for the whole time. Amazing woman.

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Her Majesty; Queen Elizabeth II born this day in 1926 at 21 Bruton Street in Mayfair

As soon as she made her zag to the opposite side of the road,

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The Queen makes her zag and away she goes to the opposite side of the road

my companion (someone I got chatting to whilst waiting), and I ran down the side alleys to the Guildhall hoping to spot the birthday girl before she left on her ride around the city.  While at the Guildhall she met other people who were 90…how cool is that!  Mind you, in comparison to some of my clients, many of whom are a lot younger than HM, she is blooming marvellous and certainly very sprightly.We were in luck, the crowds hadn’t yet swelled to bursting point and I had a great view of the steps where she was due to walk down to her open-topped car.

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Standing in their open-top car they set off for the car route through the city

We were all amazed to see The Queen and Prince Philip actually standing in the car as they set off.  They waved and smiled as the car pulled out and then we ran helter-skelter to the back entrance of the castle, again ahead of the crowds and had a fab view of them returning. They had by that stage sat down in the car, but I still managed one final photograph…..

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arriving back at Windsor Castle by a rear entrance

What a splendid day. I have seen the Queen a number of times, but always from afar. Usually at Trooping the Colour or other such events, and once we saw her up close and personal in Cape Town the last time she visit South Africa in the 1990’s. At that time she also went walkabout, but did her zag just three people before she reached where we were standing and I remember how devastated I was then that I hadn’t got to shake her hand…she still used to shake the hands of people in the crowd in those days….but sadly I didn’t and although I didn’t get to shake her this time either, she was so close I could have kissed her!!

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Wishing Her Majesty a wonderful 9oth year, and Long May She Reign!!

20160421_132536 - HB QEII 21.04.2016God save our gracious Queen!
Long live our noble Queen!
God save the Queen!
Send her victorious,
Happy and glorious,
Long to reign over us,
God save the Queen.


Other people I got to see on the day

After the event I went walkabout myself and had the luck of seeing the band returning to base

Then it was a quick trip back to Broadstairs (3.5 hours!!) to watch one of 1,000 beacons lit in the U.K. and around the world in honour of her birthday.

The Queen lit hers at Windsor Castle at 7p.m.

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The first beacon to be lit by The Queen at Windsor Castle

In all a fantastic day……I guess I am a confirmed Monarchist…and a Royalist. Fact: I love The Queen. She has been the one constant in an ever changing world. She is a great example of a good Monarch. I just read this terrific article you may enjoy.20160421_133700 - HB QEII 21.04.2016

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