This was the day I was most excited about. I planned our trip around this day. The Diamond Jubilee!!
There has only been one other diamond jubilee (60 years on the throne) in British monarchy history and that was Queen Victoria back 1897, so I knew that this was the only time this would happen in my lifetime. I had to be there.
The diamond jubilee will last a year, but this was the central weekend. The Queen attended the Epsom Derby on Saturday, the flotilla on Sunday, the concert on Monday, and a service at St. Paul’s on Tuesday followed by a balcony appearance.
I thought the flotilla would be best because it is unlike anything else. A thousand vessels down the Thames!
We stayed at the same b&b in London. We left there at 8am Monday morning and walked towards Chelsea bridge. I wanted to avoid anywhere near the tube since there would be more crowds over there. People camped out the night before (in the cold rain) along Parliament.
It was cold and rainy, but luckily, it still went on since the Brits never stop for rain. The news reporters kept saying that the rain made it all very British indeed!
We waited for about 7 or 8 hours, but we got front row along the Thames. There was a big screen near us showing other parts of the river.
We made friends with another mother and daughter from Romsey, a couple (the man played for Team GB in the Olympics in tennis in 1998, and a girl from New Zealand.
Yes, I proudly support the Union Jack. I do have British ancestry :) though they did eventually immigrate to the States.
Talking with everyone really helped the time go by, especially since we were standing in the rain the whole time!
They went and got us
fries chips since they said it was very British and they even said they would be ok with me as an American marrying Harry. In fact, they said I should jump in when he came by to have him save me!
Some of the boats came by and we cheered all of them. It was fun!
It was packed! Like I was pressed up against the wall packed, but Mama protected me from getting smashed.
The bell with chimes that led the flotilla parked right in front of us
The boats started coming down around 2:45 and the rain stopped! It knew the Queen was coming!
People lined up the whole river!
The boats came from all around the world. They were all so different and some were funny.
Robin Hood was there The commonwealth was represented
Then, I saw the royal barge coming!
Then, I saw my people!!!!!!
They went by so quickly! I wanted them to go by again. and again. I’m so happy though. I really wanted to see the Queen. Of course, I love Kate, but I didn’t know if I would have another chance to see the Queen. Everyone else was a bonus! The entire royal family was there!!!!
Plus, I got lucky because the Middletons were on our side of the river!
Then, the boats kept coming!
Then, it ended right as the rain was starting again.
It was wonderful to be a part of history! They say the flotilla will probably never happen again since the Thames is getting narrower every year and the river is constantly getting faster.
The next day we flew back home. I was sad to go. I had a wonderful time with mum, got to see so much of England and even Scotland, and saw the royal family.
Perfect trip, ready to go back!