Friday, April 5, 2002

Royal Funeral

We woke up early today to get ourselves a nice spot to watch the Queen Mother's funeral procession to Westminster Hall. Morbid, you say? Durned right. But we felt it was a necessary cultural experience. Besides, you couldn't ask for a lovelier day for such an event. So we parked ourselves near the entrance to St. James' Park to see the pageantry. We got there about two hours before the procession started, which I think was just about right. We weren't in front, but very near to it. A very few people camped out all night. I bet they feel foolish.

We were delighted to see that we selected a spot directly opposite the viewing area reserved for the Chelsea Pensioners, so we got to watch all the little old men in their tri-cornered hats salute the Queen's casket and the royal family as they went by. We were quite close, and were able to see Prince Charles, Prince William, Prince Harry, et al. very clearly.

I'm not sure what the protocol is for such matters, but I didn't take pictures of the family or the casket, though many others were. It felt a bit strange given the circumstances. Maybe I was being over-cautious (it was a very public event after all), but if it were a wedding procession or part of the Jubilee celebrations I would have felt differently. However, I wouldn't be thrilled with people taking pictures of my grandmother's casket, so I felt it right to extend the same courtesy. I got some nice snaps of the Pensioners and the band and some of the many, many soldier-type people though.

And my friends will have you know that Prince William is better-loooking in person than he is in the paparazzi's pictures.

The day continued with a nice picnic in the park (Morbid? Sure, but it was there and we were hungry) followed by a visit to the park's little family of white pelicans.

Now to polish off this culturally-enriching day with dinner and a movie at Anna's.