The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, which marked the 70th anniversary of her accession to the throne, was held last weekend.
This achievement was marked by festive events throughout London.
I attended many events and found that the reality was not as it appears on social media.
On the first weekend of June, thousands of people from all over the world flock to London, UK, to celebrate the Queen’s platinum jubilee, which marked the 70th anniversary of her accession to the throne.
I was in town from Wednesday 1 June until Sunday 5 June to cover Jubilee from the inside. While the trip was amazing, I saw another perspective that wasn’t shown on social media or TV.
The first event I attended was Trooping the Color parade on June 2. A procession of royal horses, soldiers and musicians took place at Buckingham Palace Mall and was followed by the appearance of members of the royal family on the palace balcony.
The show was open to the public. The road to Buckingham Palace was understandably congested and roads were cordoned off as people made their way to the palace.
Hundreds of people made their way through nearby St James’s Park two hours before the event was scheduled to start.
I finally got to the parade route at The Mall, a street that starts at Buckingham Palace and ends at Trafalgar Square.
Some people brought benches to help them see the massive crowds, and I wish I had thought of the idea myself.
Others brought chairs to make themselves comfortable while waiting for hours.
When the show started at 10am, some people didn’t even try to see the crowds and instead chose to sunbathe on the nearby lawn.
I found a spot at the end of the parade route, and I had a pretty clear view at first.
When members of the royal family appeared in carriages, it was extremely difficult to see all the camera phones in the sky.
When the show ended, the barriers in the mall were removed and everyone was invited to Buckingham Palace to view the flyover.
Watched the royal family from the balcony. My view of them has been partially hampered since the stage was built for the Platinum Gala, scheduled for later this weekend.
I felt sorry for the tourists who may have seen the palace for the first time that day, as it was so busy that you couldn’t even take a picture without being bombarded.
Later that evening, a lighthouse-lighting ceremony was held at Buckingham Palace.
The palace was cordoned off and manned by security guards because the event was not open to the public.
The palace was off-limits for most of the weekend. On several occasions when I tried to stop and take a picture, security urged me to “keep moving”.
On June 3, portraits of the Queen were shown to the palace. While this was a great sight, the palace was still partially surrounded and you couldn’t walk yet into the mall before security stopped it.
On June 4, the BBC’s Platinum Gala was held at the Palace. The concert at Buckingham Palace saw artists such as Alicia Keys, Quinn and Adam Lambert appear on stage.
The concert was open to those who won tickets on the general ballot. For non-ticket holders, a small parade took place in nearby St James’s Park.
There was also the option to watch from the mall. While the atmosphere was electric, it was impossible to see.
The surrounding area was packed with royal fans, security guards and large groups of police officers on duty.
And not only was the palace occupied during the jubilee holiday. The whole city was crowded.
There were big lines at metro stations.
This was particularly the case in central London after major royal events, such as Piccadilly Circus station after the Platinum Concert. I felt bad for the Londoners who worked in the area trying to go home.
The two things I was guaranteed to see every day were crowds of people and Union Jack flags.
Overall, Jubilee Weekend was amazing – but it also taught me that you shouldn’t always trust what you see on TV or social media.
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