A Joyous Jubilee

A Joyous Jubilee

Hello again, readers! I wanted to update you briefly on an experience I had this weekend that I never would have had elsewhere, or at any other time: the Queen's Diamond Jubilee. Over the course of this long weekend, the United Kingdom celebrated Elizabeth II's sixtieth anniversary on the throne -- in style! The British are extraordinarily proud of their monarch, and Her Majesty has acquired a permanent place in the hearts of her subjects. Crowd counts ran into the millions, as people stood on the banks of the Thames in mist and cold to celebrate Her Majesty.


The flotilla down the Thames was a brilliant idea, firstly because it allowed a lot more of the public to actually be able to view the spectacle in person, as opposed to a land-parade route. Secondly, it was appropriate that the Thames was used as a vehicle to celebrate HM's Jubilee since the river has always proved to be vital to the survival of the city. One of the main reasons London was built by the Romans where it stands today is the Thames, so it was fitting to showcase the river in this celebration hundreds of years later. Although the flotilla provided an opportunity for many more people to view the celebration, it still drew extraordinary crowds, and people were lining up for hours beforehand to get "prime real estate." The day before, around 2 p.m., I was walking around the South Bank of the Thames, and there already were people camping out -- literally! -- to get a good view of the Queen as she floated by. The picture on the left is just one of many that I snapped of the dedicated subjects! While I wouldn't say that this extreme preparation was the norm, there were Brits that flocked to the riverside by the thousands as early as 7 a.m. the day of -- and the Queen's barge didn't officially begin the parade until 2:30 p.m.

I went to the flotilla with three other students who are in my group, and we ended up splitting up into two groups of two because it was so difficult to stay together with the crowds. As my two friends, Jacquelyn and Brianna, realized that Kathleen and I were no longer with them, they began to look for us and as a result, had the most exciting experience of all. They explained that as they were searched for Kathleen and I, guards stopped them and told them the road they were walking on was about to close, because members of the royal family were coming through. They figured that they had the potential to see someone exciting, stayed put, and did! The picture to the right (photo credit to Jacquelyn Reineke) is of none other than Princess Kate and Prince William arriving at the parade!


Although the weather wasn't cooperative, and the crowds were a bit much at times, it was an experience that I am truly glad I pursued while here in London, since I most likely won't be alive to celebrate the next Diamond Jubilee (an extremely rare occassion). This weekend was yet another reason for me to be thankful to have this opportunity -- Elizabeth's Jubilee was something I will never forget. Cheers until the next post!




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