17 July 2006

Pussy cat pussy cat, where have you been?

"I've been up to London to visit the Queen...."

Last Wednesday and Thursday I had a very exciting trip to London. Indeed, as the nursery rhyme goes, I did indeed go up to London to visit the Queen!

Through Girlguiding UK I volunteered to steward at the Duke of Edinburgh Award 50th Anniversary Supporter's Garden Party, at Buckingham Palace. As well as Prince Philip, the Queen and the Earl and Countess of Wessex, there were a number of celebrities (actual celebrities, not "reality tv celebs"...) who are supporters of the Award, and there to give out certificates to members of operating centres from around the country.

Our job as stewards, was to hold numbers so that people could find their groups for the presentations, and then to be lane marshals for the Royals. In a crowd of 2,000 ish people, all trying to get a glimpse of the Queen, this was no mean feat, but the Guides were actually more effective than the Army at shooing people out of the way. The lesson to be learnt here? Don't mess with the Guides!

I was lucky enough to have Buzz Aldrin as my celebrity presenter, who chatted to me about my Queen's Guide Award, and was generally charming. I couldn't get over the fact I was talking to an ASTRONAUT!! Someone who had actually walked on the moon! Then in the lane marshalling part, Sophie Wessex came up to me and chatted for about five minutes about my Queen's and what I did as part of Guiding etc. She was really nice, and when I saw her again later, she remembered me and said hello again.

I saw, but didn't speak to, the Queen, Prince Philip and Prince Edward. The Queen looks exactly as I expected her to look and she's really really small. I got a smile from her and Prince Philip, but Edward ignored me completely (rude!).

It was a great couple of days (we had a rehearsal for the standing around on the Wednesday), working with really nice Guiders, and Army, Navy, and Sea Cadets. I've learnt how to get my way with an Army major (talk nicely, and flutter your eyelashes), and how to get into Buckingham Palace building without a ticket (walk purposefully and wear a uniform!). I giggled an awful lot, and even got to sunbathe on the Queen's lawn - classic!

2 comments:

PT said...

Sod the Queen! You met BUZZ ALDRIN!!!

Shit. I'm SO jealous.

I mean. BUZZ ALDRIN.

What's the Queen ever done? Eh? Been born rich. Gets to see lots of newly painted factories and art galleries.

What's Buzz Aldrin ever done? He's one of only 12 people ever to walk on the frickin' moon, for God's sake!

Buzz! Aldrin!

Did I mention that I'm jealous?!

bananatree said...

hey Clare,
I've just been looking at your flickr photos- some of the ones from Maderia and Paris are really beautiful. keep up the lovely photography!!
Han x