We noticed pretty instantly there were barriers everywhere, lots of traffic, and lots of women dressed in the fancy hats the British are known for wearing to special occasions.
Queue one of the worst tourist moments in the history of ever presented by yours truly!
I overheard some people talking about “Britain’s Got Talent” tryouts happening, so I figured that was what the hoopla was about. I mean Westminster is across from the convention center, so it made sense.
I walked up to a police officer and asked him if there was an event going on today.
Very politely, but half shocked he said, “It’s the Queen’s 60th Coronation Anniversary this week, so the Queen is attending mass at Westminster and all these people are her guests.”
It just came out, but I said, “So there won’t be any tours allowed today?” Um, no Camille, clearly not, and what a rude thing to say! I wanted to hit my own forehead right as it came out. I was sad to miss the tour, but this is kind of a big deal to the British!
He let me know it wouldn’t be open today, and unfortunately this was our last full day in London to tour it.
We decided it would be okay, we had toured St. Paul’s the day before, so we’d had a good exposure to church and religion. We also realized it would let us go to tour the Churchill War Rooms.
When we got out my blood-sugar was pretty low and I was so ready to go get some food. Jacob turned to me and said, “This would be about the time the Queen will be leaving mass I think, and the crowds are insane. I kind of want to stay and be a part of this!”
I may blame the fact that I really needed some food in my system, but grumpy Camille rolled her eyes, teased Jacob, and then dug for some trail mix in our travel pack.
I couldn’t stop giggling when I looked up at Jacob who had scaled a large, tall, cement divider and kept standing on his tippy toes snapping pictures.
I even went so far as to mock him by taking this movie to show the craziness he wanted to be a part of. (And if you don’t know me real life, brace yourself, my voice is much lower than I look! ;)) [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5IpCuWGys34]
So after about 45 minutes and some trail mix improving my mood, Jacob let me know he had seen whatever there was to see and that we could head to lunch. It was there he went through our camera and found this picture:
He told me the lady in white looked like the Queen’s size, and could be her- but he thought it was a long shot. We decided to look up CNN, and if the Queen was in white near clergy leaders, well then there was a good chance he had actually seen her and snapped a picture.
Low and behold friends, this is what we found :
Uhh yep, Jacob saw the Queen in person in real life! ONCE IN A LIFETIME!
But wait, it gets better! It took us coming home from vacation and going through more images to find that a few pictures after the Queen had left there were a few other persons of note. Can you spot the famous royals in this picture?
Need a closer look, check out the pink dress/jacket/hat:
If that didn’t clinch it for you- here they are from the side from another photographer’s camera:
That’s right, Jacob saw Will and Kate! He also can add Charles and Camilla to this list, but from what we learned in London, they aren’t super popular so we’re just including the images that matter 🙂
The best part? They all came out when the bells started ringing- which you can hear in the movie above. Ironically just as I began mocking my husband out came the very site he hoped to see! Just a few minutes into us joining the crowd Jacob was able to catch a glimpse.
Moral of the story: If you take snarky videos teasing your husband he will probably have a once-in-a-lifetime experience seeing royalty.
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