Thursday, May 5, 2011

Nice day for a White Wedding....(London Part 3/Royal Wedding Part 2)

Now for the Main Event...

Friday Morning I woke up at wasn't really waking up though cause I had never actually gone to sleep. I had a few of you lovelies from the States forget that I was 5 hours ahead and I kept getting text messages every hour from different sleeping didn't actually happen.

*Side note-One of those texts was from Maria telling me Mason was going to be coming a month earlier than her due date, so I couldn't be mad about that....I was way too excited!!!!

So I walked 3 blocks to Buckingham initial thought was to try and get a spot around the Queen Victoria monument but there were just too many people. My next thought was to get a spot further along the Mall (pronounced like Pal people, Pal). So I walked across from Clarence house and was able to get a spot just a few light posts down from that. The Mall had some people camping out but not as many as closer to the Palace. I was able to squeeze in right between 2 lovely British Families. To my left were 2 sweet older ladies who had been camping out since 5pm the night before and to my right was an older gentleman and his 2 teenage twins, a boy and a girl. They had been there since 2am. It was pretty cold so I had bundled up and talked to them to help past the time. They were so super sweet. They both had stood out for Charles and Diana, but both said they were so much more excited that Kate and William were getting married. This seemed to be the opinion of most of the British population. Most were confident that because of Will and Kate's age, length of relationship, and genuine admiration and love for one another that it was a good match. Hopefully we all are correct. I mean I don't think the monarchy could really survive another marriage scandal/divorce like has happened the past few years.

A group of Americans were standing behind me, and we started talking as well. Turns out they were from Charlotte!!!!! How crazy and wild is that? It was really funny. Around 7am I offered to go get programs and coffee for everyone in exchange for a saved spot. The programs were available so those of us not in front of a TV could follow along as we listened over the loud speakers. Plus it was a great little momento to have of the big day.

At 10 things finally got started. Will and Harry left Clarence House to get to Westminster. The crowd went nuts!!! Over the course of the next half hour, the wedding party and Royal family started making their way to the Abbey. I didn't take many pictures of this part just because they were all in cars, and I wanted to make sure I experienced most of this instead of viewing everything through a camera lens. But I did get these 2 shots...

Prince Charles...I promise he is in there...

 One of the sweet little flower girls....

At 10:45 the Queen was the last to leave Buckingham Palace (which is protocal...she is always the last to arrive at any event), and then at 10:50 the beautiful Bride came riding down the Mall in a Rolls Royce. She looked AMAZING!!!! Everyone was going nuts over her dress and the choice of Sara Burton for Alexander McQueen was perfect.

Finally the wedding started at 11. We could hear it over the loud speakers, and fortunately for me the sweet ladies I was standing with had one of those old school portable TVs with an antenna. She made sure I could see it from where I was so I was able to watch from over her shoulder.

The crowds were so excited and sang every hymn that was played. It sounded beautiful. Throughout the ceremony the crowd would go wild. Once when Will and Kate said "I Will", once when Kate finished her vows, and finally when they were officially pronounced husband and wife. It was deafening.
What was even louder was the singing of the National Anthem. The whole procession route went crazy. Everyone singing, flags waving, and so proud of their country. Major goosebump moment for sure!!!
Here is a little video I took...notice how they get totally off from the music, but don't even seem to care.

After the ceremony, the Procession began. All the horses and soldiers and carriages were so amazing. I mean really, no one knows how to do pomp and circumstance like England. America we can't even compete.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, as they are now called, were so happy. I was able to get a couple great shots....

After the procession was over they started letting people out of the barriers to walk behind the police down to the Palace. It was crazy, but yet everyone was so excited that it was also really peaceful. No pushing or arguing. Everyone was just so joyful. By 1pm we were all in front of the Palace. Unfortunately, I could not see a thing!!! Just the back of some dudes head. I was however close enough to an exit that I could squeeze out of the crowd.

By that point I was so tired, and had gotten the shot I wanted that I decided to try and book it to my hotel in time to catch the kiss on TV. Oh, the joys of staying 3 blocks away. I walked into my room just as they had emerged....and then was delighted to realize that the fly over also flew over my hotel!!! I stood on my balcony and watched the fighter jets go by. It was awesome!!!

Decided to take a nap after all the excitement and cold weather I needed some rest time. When I woke up I was a little bummed to realize I had missed Will and Kate emerging from the Palace in Prince Charles' Aston Martin!!! I mean how cute was that!!!! Totally dissapointed that I didn't get to see it in person....I mean look how much fun they were having!!!

It was the perfect way to end my week in London and an experience I will never forget...I am still processing time there so bear with me if I have a few more stories to tell over the next few weeks....or until the next big adventure comes along.


Susan said...

Great shot!

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