Okay, so the title of this post is a little misleading. Or a lot misleading.
I did not meet the royal family. I didn’t even get close enough to see them properly.
As it is the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee this year, she is going on a tour of the UK (how very rock and roll), and she kicked it off in Leicester yesterday. More specifically, my university was the first stop of the tour.
DeMontfort University put on a ‘Right Royal Breakfast’ for all staff and students in a marquee on campus. I can’t lie, I was expecting cold toast and a banana. There were a lot of people queuing to get in, but it moved really quickly, and once we got into the marquee I was seriously impressed.
It was like a wedding venue, and the food was amazing. Full English fry up, bread rolls, fresh fruit, greek yogurt, granola, fruit juice, coffee; the works.
After we filled our bellies, we went on over to await the arrival of the royal party. This part was not so fun. It was cold, but thankfully it didn’t rain. There were a lot of people there, already five or six deep at the barriers up front, so we knew our best bet of actually seeing anything was to stand on a slope. Quickly we realised this wasn’t such a good idea. My feet soon went numb and cramped from standing at such an odd angle for any length of time, and this pain spread to my back because of my posture. But we had found this viewing spot, and we were not giving it up.
Fast forward four hours. Despite the exciting atmosphere, the novelty was wearing off. We were ready for the royals to get there. We did appreciate the free flags and commemorative booklets though. And we definitely appreciated the guy next to us who was comparing the Queen’s face on a £20 note to her picture in the booklet.
And then they arrived, and everyone surged forward, and we could hardly see anything. In fact, I think I may have been the only one out of our group who was tall enough to see.
That one above is the best photo I got, haha. Well, except the next one…
It was all over very quickly. The Queen, Prince Philip and Kate went into the Hugh Aston building (where one very lucky fashion student was commissioned to make a pair of shoes for Kate). At this point I went to get some hot lunch, but returned for when they came back out to unveil a plaque. That was over very quickly, and they left to go to Leicester city centre.
It was a very early start, and a lot of waiting around in the cold (I’m not sure my feet have recovered yet), but I think it was worth it.
The atmosphere was electric when we first saw them coming through the archway. It was a huge honour for our university (which quite frankly, gets a lot of stick it does not deserve), and I am proud to have been a part of it. It’s not like something like this happens every day.
P.S. Yes, Kate is really is stunning ‘in real life’. I could see her huge smile even from where I was standing. What a woman :)