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.
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.
Where there were no barriers to risk one’s neck on, some showed their perfect centre of balance (and their complete indifference to safety):
And it wasn’t just the kids that were trying to secure a better view:
People hoisted themselves up onto anything they could find. They climbed up onto …
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.
Then suddenly the procession was on its way. I took my cue from the crowds in front of me.
Oh well. At least I was there. I hurried down to Horse Guards Parade to catch the final sixty-gun salute …
… and then I made my way back onto the Mall (now opened to the crowds) to catch sight of the fly-past.
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: