03 June 2012

A Rough Diamond Jubilee

As I'm fairly ambivalent about the royal family, don't like big crowds and hate standing around in the rain, it may sound rather odd that I decided to brave the weather and the hoards this afternoon and headed down to the Thames to watch the 1000-boat flotilla sail along the river in honour of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee. Balham Babe works in London Bridge, though, and she had a spare wristband that gave us access to a special area for local workers right in front of Tower Bridge, which was spacious and had a great view. In fact, we were right in front of the press zone, as evidenced by Eamonn Holmes sitting around chatting for the entire river pageant (he was presenting Sky News's coverage of the festivities, but he hardly turned around to look at the river for the whole time we were there).
Eamonn Holmes having a good LOL

Oh, and we didn't have to show up early either--we arrived 30 minutes before the fun began and still got a great spot. Naturally, as soon as the boats started sailing through, the heavens opened and it was pouring with rain for the next 75 minutes and beyond. Thanks, weather.

Tower Bridge opens for the Spirit of the Chartwell

Although we had front-row seats (well, a front-row space in which to stand) and could see all the boats, it was hard to identify anyone. Obviously, the royal barge, the Spirit of the Chartwell, was fairly ostentatious--Tower Bridge even deigned to open to let it through--and I took a few paparazzi shots on my camera, where you can just about distinguish the Queen, Prince Harry, Prince William, Kate Middleton and Camilla.

Paparazzi shot (L-R of the people under the canopy: Prince
Harry, Kate Middleton (in red), Prince Wills, Camilla, Queenie

I took some shots of the Elizabethan too, on which the rest of the Middletons were supposed to be riding, but we couldn't really tell who was who. The pageant was quite impressive, with rowers, dragon boaters, kayakers, foghorns, cannons, bell ringers, musicians and the emergency services, among others, making their way through.
Diverse pageantry

Slightly weirdly, the royal boat came thorough roughly in the middle, which meant interest soon waned after that, although there was then the obligatory musical/firework finale, after which we retreated to BB's office to dry off and warm up while the crowds dispersed somewhat. Normal bank holiday service will resume shortly. I hope.

That's enough jubilation (ed)

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