Getting a good view of the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant
It’s the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations this weekend and that’s really all that’s gotten London buzzing all week. Over the past few days, you could see many different buildings around the city flying the Union Jack, and there is even a gigantic poster of the royal family at the Queen’s silver jubilee celebrations along the Thames, not far from where I study.
Today (Sunday), the very extravagant Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant happened and the city was manic. There were lots of people – in different costumes, carrying flags and accessories – everywhere and it was quite a sight. Of all the Jubilee weekend events, this was the one I really wanted to join in and explore.
I went for lunch with my friend Angeline and her partner Lee for dim sum (with their friends Jemma and Tim) at Grand Imperial before we popped over down to Vauxhall Bridge.
I had seen from the tweets that crowds were already a problem. They had closed a couple of tube stations because of overcrowding. And people on Twitter we complaining about not being able to see anything, or had trouble finding each other amid the crowds.
Still, what I saw was way beyond my expectations. There were people everywhere and it was almost impossible to view into the river. I had come to terms with this, but when I saw the image below, wondered why I hadn’t been more creative in thinking of ways to get a better view.
Genius right? But it was also when I took this picture did I think to myself that I will start looking out for ingenius ways people have taken to get a better view. Since I couldn’t see the boats, I might as well people watch, right? At least that was the logic I went with. It worked for most parts, and as me and Lee started looking at people’s “creativity”, some of which brinking on ridiculous, I took some pictures as well.
These are a few of the many I took, some of my favourites.
Not the safest, but they look well padded in their biker gear (father was holding the helmets so they really ride a bike over, I’m assuming).
I can’t imagine how tired they must have been standing there, but there were lots of people doing this and it did elevate them higher than the crowds so they did manage to see some boats, albiet from a bit further away.
This is probably my favourite. I thought he made it himself (I used to make these periscopes as a kid) so I snapped this shot. But then I saw many people carrying the same one and figured some corporate company must have thought it was a good idea to distribute it. So smart to think of a periscope as the ideal tool for the day.
As for me, however, I took a more conventional route. Along the way, wherever I could, I tried to get a better look.
Alas, because of the time we got there, and just the speed of walking versus the speed of the boats, we never caught up with the Queen. Still, it was really nice to have been part of the festivities and seeing all these people around.
I did get to see some boats though, so all was not lost.
Also, I’ve kind of met the Queen before any way (see this blog post) when she visited our uni a couple of months ago. Plus, I kind of got to see her again today as well, as the picture below illustrates. And I’m watching the highlights from the day on BBC now as I write this post.
All in all, I had a great day out. We went over to Covent Garden (as it started raining) after for a drink and ended up having some cake and wine. A really nice way to end the day. There’s still two days of holidays left so I’m not sure what else I’m going to be up to (the uni library is close). But it should be good fun!
Ah, and one last shot from yesterday when I was walking around to check out the preparations. All the flats from the Commonwealth countries were flying on Waterloo Bridge so I looked for the Jalur Gemilang. Found it!
1.15am Greenwich Meridian Time