Saturday, 14 April 2012

My Royal Adventures part II

Okay, if you recall, we were sat on the green in front of the entrance to the York Museum. As we waited, crowds slowly filtered in from other parts of the city and more and more people attempted to squeeze in front of us. About an hour or so before her scheduled arrival, a huge crowd came from behind and as one woman put it, it felt as if you were in the ocean and had a wave curling and crashing over your head. They held no regard for those of us who were seated on the ground or the fact that small children were present on the ground. There were no crowd barriers up yet, so many of them tried to push right up to the front door of the museum. We didn't mind children on the steps, in fact figured it would give them the opportunity to see their Queen. It was the adults who pushed their way onto the steps as well that were a problem...especially when I am only as tall as most of the children on the steps! One older woman insisted on staying in front of us and karma rewarded her by putting an even pushier woman (who was more common than you could imagine) on the step in front of her. She struggled to see as she continued to lean left and right attempting to catch a glimpse. I however, did not push back (too much) when I leaned away from her to get a photo and she leaned on me.

Eventually some crowd barriers were brought in, but still, nothing was placed at the steps were we were stood. The Queen came, but her schedule might as well been written with disappearing ink as she was more than 40 minutes late. The crowds were becoming ever more wrestless and those of us at the front, it was becoming ever more difficult to not smash into the kids on the steps.

She finally arrived, but quickly moved from the opposite side of the car into the museum with barely a wave. The kids were deeply disappointed, especially when the Royal Car turned around and parked directly in front of the doors again. They soon began chanting "MOVE THAT CAR" with no response. After several minutes of chanting with barely a smirk from the security detail, I recommended they change their tune. Ironically enough, as soon as they chanted "GOD SAVE THE QUEEN", the car lurched forward and the children cheered, very pleased with themselves.

Soon afterwards, one of the guards came to the top of the stairs looking for children with flowers to give to The Queen. None of my friends children had flowers but several of the children on the stairs and a few more in the crowd were brought up to present theirs. While they were lining up, they were primped to look as best they could, shirts tucked in, hair tied back, oversized hoodies removed and tossed into the crowd towards parents.

Waiting was finally rewarded when The Queen and company exited the museum. She proceeded down the line shaking hands and smiling with the children, the Duke of Edinburgh, Princess Beatrice, and Archbishop Sentamu followed behind The Queen.
Before she entered the car, HRH stopped and waved for her last photo opportunity in York. There would be no boarding at the station, her tight schedule did not leave any room for error and she missed her train. Word was she was collected be the royal helicopter.

All in all a great day, but the city of York seriously underestimated the nature of the crowd, although they are celebrating the 800th anniversary of receiving their royal charter, much of the population still responds with common mob mentality.

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