Friday, 5 May 2006

"Life of Surprises" - Prefab Sprout, 1992

I had a wonderful surprise today. While out running errands at lunchtime, in Oxford, I saw The Queen!

Queen Elizabeth was in Oxford today for several reasons. I didn't know anything about it until I read it on the BBC's website this morning...although it was obvious, as I walked from the bus stop to my office just before 8am, that somebody important was visiting Oxford today. The police were much more in evidence than usual, and the doors to the grounds of Christ Church was closed and barricaded. Christ Church -- the cathedral and the college (part of Oxford University) -- is just a few blocks north of my office.

Anyway, when I left the office around 12:30pm, everything looked fairly normal on St Aldates....although there were clearly a few people standing around the entrance to Christ Church. Here's what the view looked like, as I approached Christ Church...

(Click on each photo for a full-sized version.)

Once I got a little farther north, I realized that clearly something was going on. Suddenly, police swooped in and blocked the streets. And here came a motorcade. And as the sidewalk ("pavement", to my British readers) is narrow in this part of Oxford, I was standing right on the kerb (British spelling!) and very near the passengers in a big car which suddenly appeared...and in the back seat was a lovely lady dressed all in pink...The Queen! I was so amazed but picked up my "mobile" again...and took the following shot...

The Queen is in the burgundy-colored car with the flag flying from it...and if you are able to click on the photo to make it full-sized, on the right side of the back seat you'll see a pink hat. That's Queen Elizabeth! (Well, not the hat itself...the woman in the hat!)

She was waving to the crowd, and of course we were waving back. The bells at Christ Church were pealing in celebration. The car, and the entire motorcade, all headed into the Christ Church property. The Queen apparently had lunch there today.

Just to show you what a beautiful day it was in Oxford, here's one final shot that I took of the Christ Church bell tower -- which I believe is known locally as "Old Tom"...

I just can't tell you how thrilling and exciting this was....what a life of surprises I have!

If you like to read more about Queen Elizabeth's visit to Oxford today, here's a link to the BBC website and to one of the Oxford newspapers.

WOW....I still can't believe it!


PS Oh...and Happy Cinco de Mayo!


At 05 May, 2006 23:13 , Anonymous bronx boy said...

Would you have been as excited if the vip was Pres. Bush or former Pres. Clinton?

At 06 May, 2006 16:08 , Blogger gnightgirl said...

A nice post, great pix, I got excited too. It's exciting enough to see a celebrity, but I think running into who have made their place in history books for the rest of eternity is always a breathtaking experience. The motorcades and security make it so much more exciting, but even I squealed when I saw the Queen's hat.

My son and I got the bright idea one time to park out in an Illinois corn field, to watch President Clinton and Air Force One fly out of Champaign--from outside the fence that surrounded the airport. We found a spot...with about 50 other people, with binoculars. It was so much fun to see the motorcade come in, and to realize which was his...

Well, that was the infamous trip in which the pilot accidentally taxied off the runway and got stuck in the mud here, so we stuck around til Air Force Two came in which was incredibly fast; apparently the military gets agitated when the Prez is a stranded sitting duck.

Anyway, I'm so glad you share the Queen with us, how exciting!!

At 06 May, 2006 19:46 , Blogger Janet said...

Bronx Boy: ABSOLUTELY! I've seen Clinton and Bush Senior...the latter MUCH closer than the former. (I might write about thar aomwrimw.) Any time I have had the chance to see somebody important -- including "Gorby", while I was living in NYC -- I've gotten excited to the same extent. Guess it's the kid in me!

G'nightgifl: GREAT story about Air Force One...AND Two! Glad you enjoyed my story.



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