Facebook has been kind enough to remind me these past few days of one epic weekend I experienced four years ago while living in London. I was lucky enough to have been living in the city during the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee year. Her 60th year in reign! I doubt I’ll experience another Jubilee in my lifetime, which made my year abroad even more amazing.
The city was decked out in Union Jack flags. Every pub, shop and home had flags everywhere. The city of London had come to life in a way I hadn’t expected. When I say that people love the Queen, it is a complete understatement!!
It was a long weekend to ensure all of the celebrations could be attended by as many people as possible. I hosted a BBQ at my flat, along with my roommates. We had quite a few people turn up. It was a beautiful day — it was warm and the sun was shining. It was perfect! I even had a friend from Vancouver in town that weekend and she popped in for our Jubilee festivities.
The weekend was filled with great events and everyone was invited. There was a concert at Buckingham Palace, if you were lucky enough to get down there to see it. However, Hyde Park had opened its gates for Londoners and the like to watch the concert on big screens throughout the park. That’s where Chloe and a group of us were for the evening. We brought food and booze and had ourselves a grand time! There were fireworks after the concert too.
A few of us made our way to the Thames to watch the Royal Jubilee Pageant. Now this would have been a great time, but for some of us, we were hungover and in rough shape. It was cold and damp, which made for a not so enjoyable experience. We waited for what seemed like forever for this pageant to start. And when it did, it was just a bunch of boats cruising down the river. Thousands of them! Chloe and I were getting too numb to wait around for the Queen, so we left. We made our way to Nandos, our favourite spot for food. We were able to catch the rest of the Pageant on tv. Luckily, we were indoors because a heavy rainfall started up just as we sat down to eat. I was so, so happy not to be standing by the Thames in the rain!!
Sandra and I waited along the Strand to catch a glimpse of the Royal Family on their drive by. We spotted them all, although a few of the cars were going a bit too fast for great photos. I was still able to get some of the Queen and Prince William. Later, while watching their carriage processional along Whitehall, I was able to get a photo of Princess Kate.
All in all, the weekend was fun. Like I said, I doubt I’ll experience anything like that again in my lifetime. I was in the right city at the right time for all these major events to be happening. First her Majesty’s Diamond Jubilee and next, the Summer Olympic Games. But first, Sandra and I were gearing up for an adventure of a lifetime. Ireland…here we come!