Friday, July 13, 2012

The Queen's Diamond Jubilee Tour

The Queen commenced her Diamond Jubilee Tour almost four months back which reached the West Midlands over the past two days as it moved towards its culmination in the coming week. As part of the celebrations she, as well as other members of the Royal family, will be visiting numerous places all around the world during the remainder of the year. 

While in the West Midlands, HM The Queen along with HRH The Duke of Edinburg visited Birmingham's Victoria Square at 10:10 (on the dot) on 12th July 2012.

The presence of the Queen can be felt throughout the nation all year round, every year, but there are a few chances to actually see her up close. A number of locals spend their entire lives not having seen her in real, so we were not going to miss out on this opportunity of a lifetime.

Aware of the popularity of the Queen, it was only obvious that we made our way to the event location a good 2 hours before her arrival to get front row standing space. It was a quick breakfast standing behind the barricade as we "protected" our hotly desired territory. The weather, after a few days of gloom, seemed to have opened up in anticipation of the Queen's arrival with the sun shining and pure white clouds drifting amongst the clear blue sky.

Special jubilee flags swayed in the gentle cool wind with the chitter-chatter between the audiences raising the levels of excitement with each passing minute. The security was extremely efficient with members of the local Birmingham Police working along with spotters high up on the buildings, and police dogs checking even the portholes. Still, there was a certain calm to all the activities and preparations.

The Lord Mayor of Birmingham and the Mayoress came along to chat with the waiting public and we were one of the few they stopped to talk with. In fact the Mayoress was rather impressed with my four-year-old-daughter's pink sunglasses.

The Queen arrived to deafening sounds of cheering. She met with all the officials and was presented with a bouquet and a locally produced "plaque" by the city. She then walked around meeting the assembled crowd and passed by our standing space. As you can see from the photographs, we were literarily a few inches away from her. Had it not been for her security and my love for my life and hand, I could have even touched her.

Always smiling there was a glowing calm on her face as she went about performing her duties and talking to a select few individuals. Her entire stay at Victoria Square lasted about 15-20 minutes, but it was a memorable moment for the people who were present, as it sure was for us. Needless to say, I love these little surprises that get thrown in our paths when we travel.