The day I saw Queen Elizabeth II (by Robert)

posted in: Blog, London | 47
The Queen approaches the Mall
This is the Queen approaching the Mall before she goes onto Parliament

Yesterday, during my half-term break from school, Mum and I decided to have a nice day out in London. We went up to the London Eye and to the National Theatre (both posts coming soon!) and then,after a long day in the boiling hot sun, we went to rest in the Rubens Hotel, which was fantastic. One of the reasons it was so great was because it is literally opposite the Royal Mews entrance of Buckingham Palace.

In the morning, after a delicious breakfast, we went into the lounge which faces the Palace. Mum noticed there was no traffic on the road and lots of police officers were crowding around.

Then someone told us that it was the day the Queen was due to open Parliament and we heard a rumour that the British Monarch was soon going to leave to go to Westminster. So, we stayed in the room (called the Palace Lounge!) and anxiously peered out of the window.

our view from the Rubens Hotel, of the Royal Mews
This is our view from the Rubens Hotel, of the Royal Mews

A crowd was beginning to appear outside and soon we could see horses with carriages plodding around inside the Palace grounds.

After about ten minutes and lots of views of random horses, the gates opened. Surrounded by police from all angles, carriages left Buckingham Palace and started to begin a journey left. Nearly all of the carriages were empty except a few. Someone said one contained Prince Philip, but I am not sure.

After all the horses had gone, followed by some big cars, the crowd started to leave to walk to the front of Buckingham Palace. Not wishing to miss the possibility of seeing the Queen, Mum and I left hurriedly and followed the mob.

Buckingham Palace without lots of traffic driving around it!
It was strange to see Buckingham Palace without lots of traffic driving around it!

We came to the front of Buckingham Palace. I couldn’t believe how many people were there. The queue went on forever, but it was strange because the roads were blocked off, so there was no traffic.

We stood with a clear view near the entrance, but then luckily a policeman notified us that the Queen would no be going anywhere near us if we stayed there, so we walked further up. He told us to go and stand on the Mall as she would be coming around the Fountain and then down that road.

Standing with a flag outside Buckingham Palace, as seen on the Family Travel Times blog
Someone kindly gave me a flag to wave!

For the next half an hour, soldiers with bayonets, and horses went by. Then Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, appeared in a black car with a crown on the top smiling and waving. She drove into the Palace, so perhaps she had been somewhere else that morning.

At around 10.45am we heard the national anthem playing and then a carriage came by carrying Prince Charles, the future king. Everyone cheered and he smiled. He looked very happy.

Prince Charles travelling from Buckingham Palace to Westminster for the opening of Parliament
This is Prince Charles!

Finally, at around 11am, and after lots of shouting by the soldiers in front of us, the national anthem started playing again and a golden carriage trailed after a massive group of soldiers. Inside that carriage was my monarch, the Queen.

The Queen in her carriage
This is the Queen! Can you recognise her?

She looked out of the window and did the royal wave thing. It was so cool seeing royalty.

Normally I would say something like “it was a brilliant day out” or “you should definitely go.”. But I cannot really say that about this experience. However, if you go to the Rubens hotel in London, always be on the lookout. You never know who you might see.

More history:

The Ceremony of the Keys at the Tower of London

An awesome visit to Hever Castle (with video!)



47 Responses

  1. Anda

    Isn’t this something, Robert, seeing the Queen herself? I’d love to see her to and I’d love to come back to London sometimes. It’s such a great city!

    • Robert

      London is a great city with the London Eye, Tower of London, Shard and loads more, but this has got to be one of my favourite experiences in the city.

  2. Tami

    London is on my bucket list and I’ll be going soon! Wouldn’t it be wonderful if I could see royalty too?!

  3. Lilinha Espindula

    Such an emotional experience. I live in London, but never had the privilege of seeing the Queen or Prince Charles, thanks for sharing your experience! x

    • Robert

      We were really lucky to see them, I never imagined that it would happen. Me seeing royalty.

  4. Lisa Goodmurphy

    How exciting!! If I saw the Queen riding by in a carriage I think I would be too excited to take such great photos – you’re lucky your mum is much cooler under pressure than I am! One of my daughters is around your age and she really hopes that we will see Duchess Kate some time when we are in London – I’ll tell her it could happen when she least expects it!

  5. Jolanta aka Casual Traveler

    What a fantastic experience! Lucky you! That’s fantastic. I saw the crown on the post stamps and in other photos, but somehow in your photo it looks really large. Those carriages are something too!

  6. Liz Burton

    Wow amazing photos. What a great view you had. We went up for the changing of the guard a few months back but the crowds were unbelievable we couldn’t get anywhere near.

  7. Mari

    What an amazing experience and to be so close too. I love all the pomp and glory that goes with the royal family but I do wonder why Camilla wasn’t in the carriage with Charles?

  8. Lucy Dorrington

    What a lovely experience, how lucky are you, Robert?! Do you think Camilla had popped to Tescos? Maybe she wanted some Haribos for the trip? 😀

  9. Penny

    Hey, that’s really cool! Especially as it was unexpected and you didn’t realise you’d see her. Looks like you were really close too as that’s a great photo. Thanks for sharing!

    For folks heading to London soon, be sure to look up ‘Trooping of the Colour’ – it’s on Saturday June 13th this year and the Queen makes an appearance for that as it’s a celebration of her official birthday 🙂

  10. ninjacat

    The pictures really show how colourful London is and I so love being part of something so special x

  11. The Adventure Ahead

    I am such a fan of your writing – your images and stories always capture your destinations and activities so well. What a fun and memorable experience! These are the kind of things that your son will be talking about for years to come 🙂

  12. Globalmouse

    Wow what an amazing experience!! That’s such a great thing to be able to say you’ve done…and to get the photo too. Brilliant!

  13. Shere

    I think only people from monarchic countries understand how exciting it is to see the queen or king. I’ve seen our king Juan Carlos (from Spain) a couple of times, once when i was a teen and he was in coming into the palace by car, and another time he was just 5 meters away as he came to visit our university (and we didn’t know!!! so imagine the surprise). Also in Copenhagen we saw Willen Alexander and Maxima (king and queen of The Netherlands). In fact, they came to our town in a sailing boat two weeks ago, but I just read about it afterwards.

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