That's right....I was there. And it was awesome.
Elizabeth and I decided to be bold and head into London to try and catch a glimpse of the festivities. We really didn't have a plan at all, but we figured Buckingham Palace would be our best bet. At 5:45 we were on the train from Cambridge, and by 7:00 we were stepping off the tube. Our first purchase of the day was our very unofficial commemorative flags. In the center of the Union Jack was the now famous engagement photo. Elizabeth and I were proud to wave them all day - and it may or may not be hanging in my room right now.
We got there really early, but we were supremely lucky to get there when we did. At about 7:45 they stopped letting people into our area, so we just made the cut off. Since we got there at 7:00 and had about 4 hours to kill, we spent a lot of time making friends with people around us. We made buddies with a guy about our age that had come specially from South Africa. He had camped out the night before, so we couldn't help but snicker that we had the same spots as him. Then there was the Russel Brand wannabe that was selling people rolls of toilet paper. For two pounds, you could add a couple of inches to your height - what a deal! There was also the little boy that joked that he was going to charge his father 100 pounds an hour to sit on his shoulders and the group of prim ladies that brought little bottles of chardonnay with them. There were plenty of ridiculous hats and people dressed up. I especially loved the gentlemen with the huge Sideshow Bob wig that was bright red. He was also painted red and he was wearing red everything - down to the leg warmers. The only sucky thing was that he was on a step stool, so he blocked everyone with his big head. Oh, and did I mention that he had an annoying horn that he kept blowing? Yeah, I'm sure you can tell I loved that guy. One thing I have to say is that this was the politest crowd I have ever been in. I couldn't help but note that everyone was very respectful of those ahead of them. Instead of pushing and shoving to the front, most people just accepted what spot they found.
|Massive crowd gathered by Buckingham.|
|The band provided us with some lovely entertainment.|
|It's the Queen and Prince Phillip!|
|Kate Middleton on her way to Westminster.|
The actual ceremony was broadcasted for the gathered crowd. This made the whole thing more hilarious. I especially enjoyed the National Anthem, which gave the crowd the opportunity to join in on the spirit of the event.
As the wedding went on, the crowd got livelier and livelier. Check out the video below of the crowd during the vows. I especially loved the erupting cheers when they say "I will."
The whole ceremony passed fairly quickly and everyone soon prepared themselves for the procession. The videos below really represent how crazy the crowd was. Apologies for the shaky camera work - I was jostled a little bit. First, we had the newlyweds and their wedding party:
|Kate & Wills, as they are affectionately known here.|
|Lovely! I'm only slightly obsessed with them.|
|Prince Harry, waving to the crowd.|
|Pippa, looking just as beautiful as her sister.|
Who were closely followed by Prince Charles and the Queen and Prince Phillip. Check out those guards:
|It's only the Queen. No big deal.|
At this point, the procession was over. We knew that they would be all stepping out onto the balcony, so we were trying to figure out how to get into the grounds. Eventually, they opened a barricade and our little section gathered in. The only problem was, the area we gathered into was also sectioned off and our view was obstructed by the television cameras. Things really started to suck when we saw the police ushering in a massive crowd of people from way down the mall. This sparked chants of "Let us out! Let us out!" As people filed past us, everyone surrounding us pretty much agreed to jump the barricades together. Good news guys - my knee is nice and strong. After helping a couple of older ladies over, I was able to jump the barricade - and in a dress no less! And you said I'm not a lady.
|In the middle of the crowd, waiting for them to appear on the balcony.|
We quickly darted through the crowd and found a spot much closer to the front. We had a great view of the balcony. Once again, we couldn't believe our luck. Elizabeth and I were just happy to be there, so we were pretty excited. We couldn't stop waving wildly at the newlyweds, hoping that they somehow were able to spot us in the crowd.
|Elizabeth and me in the crowd.|
|The whole gang is here!|
|The newly married couple|
As expected, it took a loooong time to get out of Buckingham. At one point they only had one gate open, so it was a bit ridiculous. Elizabeth and I, instead of pushing through the large crowd, decided to check out the reporters. We were so excited to see Anderson Cooper and Piers Morgan, who is on the right with his back to me.
|Anderson is sooo dreamy! What a silver fox.|
We did manage to make it out - about 8 hours after we had arrived. After lolling around in Green Park and watching the highlights from the wedding on the big screen, we made our way back to Kings Cross. Out final farewell to London was an obligatory picture with Platform 9 3/4. Being the massive Harry Potter fans that we are, there was no way to could pass up that opportunity.
|With my royal wedding partner in crime.|
|A visit to Platform 9 3/4 - the perfect end to an already magical day.|