Our final day of Jubilee celebrations climaxed with the Queen's Procession from Westminster Hall to Buckingham Palace. Our little group of friends arrived around 11 AM for a three and a half hour wait, but we were rewarded with spaces up front along the street for our efforts.
We decided to position ourselves along Whitehall between Trafalgar Square and Parliament to get the best view.
The time passed fairly quickly, and we met some fascinating folks,
who amused and delighted us.
These two gals were lucky enough to win tickets to the big concert the night before and we enjoyed hearing their first hand experiences.
This was our favorite "bobby" of the day. He delighted us
while we waited with his friendliness and humor.
My little buddy next to me had the greatest idea and had brought his coloring book to pass the time.
Before long however, the queen with her lady in waiting passed by in her limo, on the way to Westminster Hall to lunch. Isn't her little driver so cute? Of course, everyone was sad that Prince Philip had not been able to accompany her on this amazing day due to an illness. A few quick changes had to be made along the way to accommodate his absence.
She was soon followed by Prince Charles and his family. Now it was another hour or so to wait, before they would exit in their carriages for the procession.
Over 1000 servicemen and women participated in the parade,
men of all sizes,
and quite a few women on horseback too.
We were positioned just beside The Cenotaph, Britain's official war memorial honoring those who have given their lives for their country,
and every group of servicemen and bands paused at that spot to honor those gone before.
The bands were plentiful
and entertaining, playing up and down the street to our delight, helping to pass the time.
And then the time had come, the queen was approaching preceded by the Drum Horses of the Life Guards, announcing
her carriage, a 1902 State Landau, the same one used by Kate and William, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on their wedding day.
Originally, it was to have been the Queen and her husband, Prince Philip in this carriage, but due to his absence,
she was accompanied instead by Prince Charles and Camilla.
Even Prince Charles respectfully removed his hat when passing by the war memorial.
They were followed by Princes William and Harry along with Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge.
The Mall to Buckingham Palace was closed off to us as we tried to head that way for the Balcony appearance, so I had to borrow this photo, but it was such a fitting ending to see the immediate close family appearing there, accenting the line of succession in the years to come.
It's been a joy to celebrate with all my fellow Briton friends as they honored their queen and her 60 years of service to the county. What a remarkable achievement she has made in history!
It's Countdown time to the Olympics!