"It was imprudent of us, in the first place, to become authors. We could have become something regular, but we managed not to.
We were lucky, but we were also determined." Roy Blount Jr

"I don’t change the facts to enhance the drama. I think of it the other way round, the drama has got to fit the facts,
and it’s your job as a writer to find the shape in real life."
Hilary Mantel

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Seeing the Queen--and Being Seen!

The Tower was a research goldmine. I hadn't been since I was a teenager. Doubtless I'll blog about it later.

It was a gorgeous day. After going over every inch of the Tower precincts, the Chap had the brilliant idea to stroll across Tower Bridge and visit the George Inn in Southwark, a favourite haunt of his that, surprisingly, I've never experienced.

When we arrived at this odd pod, we noticed a press scrum standing outside.

Then I spotted the posh motorcar. The one with the Royal Standard waving atop.

And the ornament decorating the bonnet...which only adorns the vehicle in which the Monarch happens to be riding.

Now, I'm not the sort to spend time hunting down the royals. Not that there's any need to do so, they tend to pop up now and again. I've once seen the Queen--and the Duke of Edinburgh--being driven to the State Opening of Parliament, in a coach. (Her crown of state travels in its own horse-drawn carriage.) But the Chap hasn't seen her.

By chatting up a security officer he discovered that Her Maj and Phil the Greek were inside the pod, attending a ceremony related to England and New Zealand rugby. She wasn't expected to stay inside terribly long.

So we stood about waiting. It was quite interesting, watching the security detail, and the various officials faffing about. And the schoolgirl with the bouquet, being properly positioned for her moment of glory.

And then, as our fingers and toes were growing numb, the Queen appeared!

In the left of the frame, half a step behind, the Duke of Edinburgh.

She's looking right at me!

She climbed into her motor and off she went. I was impressed that the colour of her hat matched her ride.

You can tell how close I was to her entourage.

After the excitement of an unexpected encounter with royalty, we continued on towards Borough High Street and the ever-so-historic George.

The Queen wasn't our only celebrity today. On our way to the London Bridge underground, we spotted the most famous man in the UK in a shop window.

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