Are there any other Royal family fanatics out there? Yes, I totally woke up at 3:00 AM to watch the Royal Wedding in the Pacific timezone. Didn’t you? I have always have this odd fascination with the Royals. As a young child, I read multiple books on Princess Diana, and I was pretty much obsessed with Kate Middleton and her wedding to Price William. And luckily, my time here in England coincides with the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, which is the celebration of her 60th Anniversary as Queen.
Monday was the beginning of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, and the celebration commenced with a 41 Gun Salute in Hyde Park. Although, I think that technically it should be called a 41 Cannon Salute. It was quite fabulous, as a celebration for a Queen should be. The most surprising thing was that I felt incredibly underdressed. Although it was near freezing, outdoors, and messy from the melting snow, men were wearing top hats and beautiful scarves. Women looked incredibly put together in their Winter coats. Honestly, I had no idea that it was possible to look so fancy in outerwear, but I was incredibly wrong. Although I didn’t feel excluded, I did feel a little out of place in my jeans, short casual peacoat, and obviously uncombed ponytail. My saving grace was the feather on my headband. But, thankfully, no one cared about how I was underdressed, they cared about the event.
First, the King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery horses cantered out pulling cannons. At this point, I desperately wished I had gotten to Hype Park earlier to stake out a good spot for photography, but alas, I didn’t, and I struggled to get decent photos by sticking my dslr above my head, hoping for the best, and clicking away. If you are interested in professional pictures of the event, I suggest checking out this article at the Daily Mail. Once the cannons were operational, those babies fired, and it was pretty spectacular. Thank goodness I was aware that this was going on because those cannons were loud. If I had been anywhere in the near vicinity and heard the canons firing, I probably would have had a panic attack.
Check out the smoke.
And, then, the horses came and hauled the cannons away, and the gun salute was over before I knew it.
Don’t these pictures look like I stepped backed into time? The 41 Gun Salute was wonderful. As an American, it seems surreal that such traditions still exist, but it makes my time here feel a little more unique and cultural and reminds me that London is indeed a foreign country. However, in retrospect, if I had know about the dress code, I would have pulled myself together and tried to stumble upon a attractive, wealthy, British young man. Unfortunately, I was unprepared, and obviously, I need to get my priorities in order. Yet, fortunately, there is another gun salute on April 21st. You live, you learn.