Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Royal Wedding

Buckingham Palace

It was Wednesday, July 29, 1981 when I got up at 3 AM to watch the coverage of the wedding of Charles & Diana. I was enthralled by the pageantry, history and beauty of it all. I was so happy for them!

Next Friday, I will again be up by 3 AM to watch the coverage of another royal wedding: that of William and Kate. I'll watch as much as I can, hopefully seeing most of it before I have to leave for work.

My husband Terry and I visited London exactly five years ago. We spent six days there and absolutely loved it. One day, we hope to return. Since I know the streets and have seen the city first hand, I'll be able to get my bearings as the procession heads through the streets of London and Kate enters Westminster Abbey.

Downing Street

I thought this would be a great time to share some photos of our London trip. Some of these locales will indeed be on the wedding route! Others... not so much.

Here is the fascade of Westminster Abbey. I regret we did not go inside, but next time for sure!

Westminster Abbey

Big Ben is right across the street from Westminster Abbey.

Big Ben

Here are some shots of Buckingham Palace and the Changing of the Guard ceremony.

Buckingham Palace Gates

Changing of The Guard

Changing of The Guard exiting

When the Queen's Guards aren't rotating in and out of duty, they're doing this...

Buckingham Palace Queen's Guard sentry

... and this. People try to crack them up, but they must remain stoic. A few times, we saw the guards begin to march in place and switch their guns to the other side in hopes that would scare the tourists who were getting a bit too close!

St. James's Palace Queen's Guard sentry

A charming carriage just outside the gates of Buckingham Palace.

Carriage outside Buckingham Palace

Just across the street from Buckingham Palace is St. James's Park. It was SO beautiful, with gorgeous flowers, ponds and birds. A true paradise!

St. James's Park

Red-Breasted Geese

Swan in St. James's Park

The wedding route will not pass the Tower of London...

Tower of London

... nor Tower Bridge. We decided not to take the tour inside the Tower of London. Jails and jewels just didn't fit into our schedule. Maybe next time. I really would have loved to see the ravens that live on the grounds, but they weren't there when we were in London.

Tower Bridge, London

I was surprised to see this statue of Abraham Lincoln in the middle of Parliament Square! Especially since it is a replica of the one we have in Lincoln Park here in Chicago!

Lincoln in Parliament Square

We Illinoians are mighty proud of old Abe!

Lincoln Close-up

Terry is a huge Beatles and British Invasion fan, so we just had to walk up Abbey Road to Abbey Road Studios.

Terry at Abbey Road Studios

It was almost impossible recreating that famous shot with all the traffic! The locals must think us tourists are crazy!

Abbey Road

Here's a typical pub in London. Such quaint buildings, and many have been in operation for hundreds of years!

Typical London Pub

There's no better way to get a bird's eye view of London than from atop the London Eye!

London Eye

Well, that concludes our brief tour of London! If you're interested in the Royal Wedding, check out the links below.

For the official Royal Wedding website, click here.

For a helpful interactive map of the royal procession click here.

Here's a fun 3D imagery of the parade route by Google Earth Maps:

And finally, if you're not watching the festivities on TV, you can watch a live stream on the official Royal Household YouTube channel beginning at 5:00 am ET by clicking here!

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Blogger Miss Sandra said...

Dear Pam,
I am such an anglophile..a true lover of all things British! Seems you are too! I'm hoping to watch the wedding. Not sure how early I'll be up for it. I may have to watch a taping later on. I enjoyed this post very much! Hope your week has thus far been delightful! I should be shipping your surprise gift tomorrow!

April 20, 2011 at 2:46 PM  
Blogger Pam of Eastlake Victorian said...

Hi Miss Sandra-

I really enjoyed London and other places in Great Britain so much more than I even imagined! I helps that they speak English! LOL! There was so much to see and not enough time to see it all. I think it would be a thrill to be there for the wedding!

Take care!


April 20, 2011 at 5:40 PM  
Blogger The Dusty Victorian said...

Hello Pam,
As usual, thorough and entertaining post. London was always part of my yearly work travel destinations. Although I never had much time to be a leisurely tourist, I could not help but to fall in love with the esthetics and energy - so impressive. Your pictures brought it all back. Thank you.

April 21, 2011 at 1:43 PM  
Blogger Pam of Eastlake Victorian said...

Hi Anyès-

It must be frustrating going somewhere for work and not having a lot of time for leisure! I've never been on a working trip. Our London trip was part of a 3 week vacation we planned ourselves to 4 European countries. I guess it was our trip of a lifetime! :-)


April 21, 2011 at 4:38 PM  
Blogger Pam said...

I will be up at 3:00 am watching with you! I can't wait!

April 22, 2011 at 8:14 AM  
Anonymous Jeff said...

I'm not much for Royal Weddings but I'd love to visit England. It is hard to believe that was 6 years ago when you went. The picture are wonderful, and I am so jealous you guys got to go to Apply Road.

April 22, 2011 at 8:14 AM  
Blogger Pam of Eastlake Victorian said...

Hi Pam-

I think I'll take the day off work. I have vacation time coming. That way, I won't miss a thing! :-)


April 22, 2011 at 1:52 PM  
Blogger Pam of Eastlake Victorian said...

Hi Jeff-

You and Dawn should go! It's easy getting around there without a car. There's so much to see! If you stay at bed-and-breakfasts and book your own airfare and train passes, it's really not that expensive.


April 22, 2011 at 1:56 PM  
Blogger Sea Witch said...

Wow, what a wonderful post. I really enjoyed reading this one, felt like I was visiting England. My mom adored Diana and was glued to the TV watching the wedding. She would have loved watching this one too. Her sons have grown into good men. Wishing you a lovely Easter. Sea Witch

April 22, 2011 at 7:50 PM  
Blogger Pam of Eastlake Victorian said...

Hi Sea Witch-

Thanks! Yes, Diana did raise nice boys it seems. It's amazing, with the strange life they've lead. I do hope Kate doesn't get too much of a culture shock after she marries into the Royal Family, like Diana and Fergie did!

Happy Easter to you!


April 22, 2011 at 8:00 PM  
Blogger La Petite Gallery said...

Pam, Girl you out did yourself with this post, great shots and a map..
I loved the swans in Europe. The world will be tuned in on this wedding. Beautiful couple. Then we all have the memories of Charles and Diane. I thought he was a nerd, loved her.. yvonne

April 23, 2011 at 7:05 AM  
Blogger Pam of Eastlake Victorian said...

Hi Yvonne-

I think Charles was always in love with Camilla. Poor Diana. She was so young, and had many problems from the start. I hope this royal marriage is full of love and lasts forever! :-)


April 23, 2011 at 9:57 AM  
Blogger Richard Cottrell said...

I remember Charles and Diana's wedding as I was home sick as a dog in bed and it was on TV and made my spirits a little better. I wish she could have been stronger and hung in there-she would haven made a great Queen. Thanks for sharing. Richard at My Old Historic House

April 25, 2011 at 10:07 AM  
Blogger Pam of Eastlake Victorian said...

Hi Richard-

Oh, what a way to remember Charles and Di's wedding! I guess we'll never know what could have been. She might still be alive if she'd stayed with Charles, but she may have been miserable!


April 25, 2011 at 4:06 PM  

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