Saturday, July 18, 2009

The Queen was at Home

We knew we'd get poured on, but we went anyway. We knew there would be loads of tourists like us, trying to see the changing of the guard. We knew there would be confusion about if they were really going to change the guard given the weather. We knew if we lost each other we'd truly be lost. Thank heavens I had my multi-colored umbrella, the one that stands out among a sea of black ones.

But you just can't go to London without seeing Buckingham Palace. It isn't as interesting architecturally as other palaces. It's design is RAAAAWTHER dull. But there is a living queen inside the castle and she's been queen for nearly all her life, and that's really something. Whatever their opinion of the monarchy as an institution, I doubt many British people would make light of her years of service.

What we actually saw: policeman on horses telling people to clear the way, policemen on foot telling people to clear the way, a few fuzzy black-headed guards through the gate and the Union Jack flying on the top of the palace, signifying that the Queen is in London.

"When the flag flies up there, that means the queen's at home," I told Leah.

"Maybe she's in there right now!" said Leah.

That led to just a few hundred questions.

"What do you think the queen's doing in there?"

"What does the queen do all day?"

"How many rooms are there in there?"

"How many bathrooms do you think are in there?"

"Does the Queen have kids?"

"So Charles will be King someday?"

"What are the guards guarding her from?"

I told her sometimes she comes out on the balcony and waves to the people, and that they all cheer.

"Maybe she'll come out today! Let's watch and see!"

So we watched for a bit and then walked around the park for a bit and ate a cookie until the crowds died down and then made our way home. First we stopped at some overpriced tea and crumpets, queen-type tourist shops with fancy T-shirts that say "Pussy Cat Pussy Cat Where Have you Been? I've Been to London to Visit the Queen," and such.

Not sure if the guard was changed or not.


Suey said...

If you want a little more "up close and personal" experience with the guards go to the horse guards near Downing Street... on Whitehall..I think it is. We had a great time with them, trying to make them smile and laugh, and getting our pics taken with them, and seeing how stinkin' young they are.

(We skipped Buckingham altogether and were bad bad tourists!)

Trisha said...

I lOVE your blog and seeing all the fun things you guys are doing. I'm getting excited--it makes all the prep nonsense we have to go through to rent our house out worth it!

Scott and I sat on a hill and laughed at all the people punting on the Cam!(A few years back when he was there for 6 weeks)
I still have a billion questions for you though.

Cathy said...

I remember people trying to make those guards smile and then I got my picture taken with some Bobbies (policemen), although I was a little shy about it. We liked their funny hats and stuffy suits!

Cathy said...

I just looked at your your pictures on the side and I loved seeing Sammie at Brighton Beach and then Leah in the "Pride and Prejudice" picture. The house and vines looks just like the surroundings in the movie!