A right royal weekend!

10 May

Once upon a time, eight girls went to see the beautiful princess marry her handsome prince. Despite all the odds, all girls turned up at Green Park tube station within 15 minutes of each other. If you knew these girls, you would know this is somewhat an achievement in itself as usually there is always one who sleeps in for morning meetings.

These girls, who are Kristy, Jo, Geri, Melanie, Narelle, Nicole, Jaime and Mel, made their way to one of the most grand of all palaces – Buckingham Palace. They were excited about catching a glimpse of one of the most anticipated weddings of all time.

OK, enough of the fairy tale, but this does seem like one big modern-day fairytale! The beautiful Kate Middleton (referred to as a ‘commoner’ by some UK newspapers!) marries her Prince William in one of the most beautiful churches that ever existed. We were there to catch the action, along with 992,000 other people (minus us eight).

It was an early wake-up call to arrive inside the barricades around Buckingham Palace – we were two rows back! We set up our picnic rug and waited it out until the time came when the Queen, Kate and her entourage all left for the chapel. In true Kristy and Jo style, they had brought along Kate and Wills masks and in a very clever disguise, acted out their true romance (even we were fooled).

Cars whet past and the crowds roared and clapped, even when there was nobody in them or it was a catering truck (the guy in the catering truck took stock of all the attention with a huge smile and a wave!). We saw the guards march into place inside the gates of the palace to form a guard of honour as the Queen left for the church. We saw the horse guards march past and then Kate Middleton’s mother and brother, leaving for the ceremony. We saw Kate’s bridesmaid and her entourage of page boys and flower girls drive past. And then we saw Kate, in her beautiful lace dress and veil, with a huge smile and an enthusiastic wave. We were very excited! We sat while we listened to the ceremony on the speakers around the palace. We saw the procession coming back to the palace, and we saw the kiss of Kate and Wills on the balcony. We were there when it all happened.

We made our way to Kristy and Jo’s place afterwards to pop the champagne and watch the highlights of the wedding online. We all ooo’d and ahhhh’d at the dress, at the church, at Wills’ balding head, at the trees that lined the inside of Westminster, of Princess Beatrice’s antelope-style hat, at cheeky Prince Harry and how awesome it was to be there, to witness first-hand a part of history.

It was then on to another style of celebration that night, this time across the English Channel and on to The Netherlands. Queen’s Day, a carnival which traditionally celebrates the birthday of a Queen, is a massive street party. Everyone dresses in orange – the unofficial colour of the country (the colour of the Dutch Royal Family) and everyone is there to party. DJ’s appear on street corners and on longboats – all to bust out house tunes so party-goers can dance the day away. Our favourite of all was a DJ spinning tunes from the top of a scaffolding platform, joined by a saxophonist to entertain the masses. And entertain they did – I’ve never heard such a great combination of tunes – techno music with a saxophone – awesome!

But we did other stuff in Amsterdam too. The day following Queen’s Day, our tour was taken for a very long bike ride – about six hours to be exact. We travelled from the city of Amsterdam (trying to avoid traffic, bikes and pedestrians) through the ‘country-side’ for lunch, and then on to see a traditional windmill. Not a bad ride and it was nice to get out of the city centre, but it was so long! Especially when we’d had a big day the previous day. Nevertheless, we went out for our final party night that night, to a club called Cocos Outback (an Australian bar) and danced some more until 3:30am. We walked home (avoiding the glass and rubbish still on the street from the previous day) and dropped ourselves into bed. We had an early wake up call the next day – 5:30am – so we could catch our 6 o’clock bus back to London. Although we had hardly any sleep the whole weekend, Queen’s Day is truly for the party-goers and one of Europe’s many festivals not to miss!

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today was meaningful

a collection of thoughts, life lessons, and days full of meaning.

Liv Hambrett

An Australian in Germany

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Photography, Aviation, Nature, Culture, Nikon, Canon, Qantas, Airlines, Emirates, Airports, A380, 747

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