Saturday, July 29, 2023

King and Queen at Sandringham Flower show

@Ken Stone

On July 26, 2023, King Charles III and Queen Camilla attended the annual Sandringham Flower Show.   Sandringham House is one of Charles' personal properties.

@Ken Stone

@Ken Stone

@Ken Stone

@Ken Stone

@Ken Stone

@Ken Stone

@Ken Stone

@Ken Stone

@Ken Stone

@Ken Stone

Thank you, Ken for allowing me to publish your awesome photos.

Thursday, July 27, 2023

Day 9 Coronation Day

Morning!  I did not sleep well on Friday night as increasingly more people were trying to find spaces on the Mall.  The police closed the mall shortly after midnight.   My friends Michael and Alison Rhodes came from Harrogate. and were lucky to get in although several attempts to find them were fruitless. 

I woke up at 4 am as I needed to visit the facilities.  The bathroom near me was now closed so it was a walk in the park to the main loo.  The food stands were also finally open.  Michael had texted me to say where they were settling in for the night.  They could not get into the area close to the road but had to spend the night in St. James's Park... under a tree.  Close to the path to the port-a-loos.  I am so happy to see them, but I cannot bring them back to my spot because the area is officially closed.   We planned to meet at a nearby pub after the Coronation.

Alison, do you need to borrow this?  I am well-prepared.

Grabbed coffee for Pam and me and headed back to our front-row spot.  Last night, police spoke to the campers, saying everything had to be packed up by 6 a.m.   I was not hungry but ate the fruit that Brent had brought me the night before.

No rain yet.  Fingers remained crossed that the rain will hold off.  By 8:00 a.m., the front row remained in our seats.  This was due to the recommendations from the people behind us to keep the crowd from surging.  It worked.   

The Speaker (Tannoy) system announcements started at about 8 a.m. to make sure we were packed up. 

This was my favorite announcement

Huge cheers for the King and Queen when they were driven from Clarence House to Buckingham Palace. 

Military units began to get into place on the Mall for the Procession to Westminster Abbey

The police presence was huge, which always makes photography difficult when you are short.  

The procession is starting ..yes it is raining.  

A photo is required when a horse flirts with you.

This is what I was up against

Here comes the King and Queen in the Diamond Jubilee State Coach

Trust me, the King and Queen are in the carriage ...

This procession was short.  We were able to hear the Coronation Service through the speaker system.  We were also able to see the troops make their way down the Mall to get ready for the procession back to Buckingham Palace.

Some were heading to Buckingham Palace to wait for King Charles and Queen Camilla's return to Buckingham Palace.

Flags of the Commonwealth

The Coronation Service is over - the Procession is on the Mall

Rude Horse

It got worse.  Soldiers with flags took their places next to the police. 

It is raining and I am short. 

The Princess Royal

The Prince and Princess of Wales with their children.  Yes, that is Prince Louis

The Duchess of Edinburgh

The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester

Sir Timothy Laurence

I asked a tall man to take the balcony photos. He did the best he could.

The abridged Flyover with the Red Arrow

Even the duck had enough of the rain!

Later in the evening, as London celebrated the Coronation in lights.

The final three photos were taken by my friend, Pamela Friedman

@Pamela Friedman

@Pamela Friedman

As we made our way out of the Mall, Pamela and I lost each other.  I texted Michael that I was not going to make it to the pub, due to the crowds.  I was soaked. So was everyone else.  Finally made it across the Mall and to Green Park, where I waited and waited for the Victoria Line back to Walthamstow.

London Transport kept trains from stopping at stations in Central London because of the crowds.  Finally, I was able to enter the station and get on the Victoria Line to Blackhorse Road and walked back to my lovely Air BnB.   I was handed a welcome cup of tea after I took a HOT shower and changed clothes.  I was too tired to go back out, so used Deliveroo to order dinner from a local restaurant. My hosts were amused when I told them I would be camping out.

Although the rain combined with the police and soldiers lining the route, made the visibility difficult. I have no regrets about camping out for two nights with so many people looking forward to the Coronation.  It was a true party atmosphere that I will never be able to replicate.  I have been in the crowds (and camping out) for weddings, jubilees, Thanksgiving Services, Trooping the Colour and the Garter procession, but this was my one and only Coronation.  
It is sufficed to say that the rain did not dampen our spirits.   Just our clothes, shoes, everything we had with us.

This was my penultimate night in London.  Day 10 was my final with a day out to Polesden Lacey.  I plan to have that post up soon.   Yes ... before I leave for London in September.

I was there - and it was a blast.  God Save the King!  God Save King Charles.

If you liked this post, perhaps you could buy me a cup of coffee.  Thanks.