London … the final day of the Diamond Jubilee celebrations: and the day ‘Health & Safety’ was given the afternoon off

I braved the cold and wet conditions to try and catch a glimpse of our dear Queen during the final procession down the Mall earlier today, marking the end of the Diamond Jubilee celebrations. The crowds were heaving and five-man deep all along the Mall, which for a short-arse like myself (I am only 5 ft 2) meant it was going to be rather difficult to see anything from the back.

Reaching over the top of the crowds with my camera (the Mall is actually on level ground)

That however didn’t deter everyone else in the same predicament as myself and some came up with imaginative if rather dangerous ways of securing a better view.

Is that safe?

Please don’t make any sudden movements

Where there were no barriers to risk one’s neck on, some showed their perfect centre of balance (and their complete indifference to safety):

That’s very good. Now please get down!

Well, clearly it’s not against the law, not today anyway

Dads always come in useful

These guys were using the portaloos behind them to help with their balance. Judging by the girl third from the right, the smell was a small price to pay to get a good view

And it wasn’t just the kids that were trying to secure a better view:

A cheaper alternative to Dignitas?

People hoisted themselves up onto anything they could find. They climbed up onto …

… park signs …

… trees …

… even the park gates

Thoughts of Alan Partridge catching his foot on that spike immediately come to mind

St John’s Ambulance waiting for their cue

Strangely, I wasn’t tempted to risk my life even for a glimpse of the Queen, so I carried on through the crowds in the hope of finding a more convenient viewing spot. Along the way the eccentricity of the British was clearly present in abundance.

Now that’s a hat

Clearly not Republicans

Sitting down in front of the big screen in St James’s Park waiting for the rain the drench everyone

Passing the time the way the British do best – queuing

Then suddenly the procession was on its way. I took my cue from the crowds in front of me.

The Queen’s coming

Here she comes

There she is!

And off she goes … I think

Oh well. At least I was there. I hurried down to Horse Guards Parade to catch the final sixty-gun salute …

Bang! x60

… and then I made my way back onto the Mall (now opened to the crowds) to catch sight of the fly-past.

I don’t think I’ll be able to see the balcony from here

Great, now it’s raining

Here they come. The RAF memorial flight first

In black and white, just like in the movies

An amazing sight

This would have been a great photo of the Red Arrows flying over if some idiot hadn’t decided to wave his foldaway seat at them (they can’t see you, you know)

Aren’t we a little off centre there boys?

And that was the end of that. The four-day Diamond Jubilee celebrations were over and sadly I didn’t get to see the Queen herself. But, what an amazing experience. It is doubtless any of us living and witnessing this today will ever see another British Diamond Jubilee in our lifetimes.

As I set off to battle through the throngs of people to get home, someone in the crowd caught my eye:

Nice tracksuit bottoms Ma’am


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