please empty your brain below

I'm certainly glad you went, DG. Thank you for the post and the pictures.

I think it was a brilliant move on your part, DG. Not just the being there and witnessing history (which you surely were), but also the fact that you managed to walk right in front of TV cameras beaming this event to billions of viewers. We probably were looking right at you in that seething throng, and yet had no idea. Anonymity preserved in the most public way!

Thanks for the images. It must have been fantastic to be right underneath the fly-past.

As I live in the States, I was unable to attend the wedding or watch it at a reasonable time - it aired at 3am local time, so I watched the rebroadcast online when I got up for the day. Thanks for the pictures, DG... It'd very nice to see some 'real' pictures, as opposed to ones from the nearly 9,000 journalists that showed up to cover the wedding.

Now for a silly American question: Is it at all weird, do you think, for the Queen when everyone is singing God Save The Queen? I know that it's the National Anthem, but I couldn't quite catch whether she was singing along. (I actually couldn't catch if it was actually sung, as my speakers are crap, but the thought *did* occur to me as I was watching.)

Fabulous post, DG. Lovely photos.

I didn't watch it on the telly (no telly, see) but round about 11 I decided to hop on the train and managed to get down the front of the Mall surprisingly easily in time to see them go by in their little sports car. London was incredible; like I've never seen it before. I don't have any interest in the Royal Family, but being part of an atmosphere like that is something I'll never forget. And it was far less of a mad crush than I expected.

Highlight of the day (apart from the above)? Listening to the brass band in St James Park play Jerusalem & bohemian Rhapsody to a huge flag-waving crowd.

Lowlight: Listening to Boris Johnson in Trafalgar Square and just feeling embarrassed.

Looking forward to getting in the darkroom and developing the 5 rolls of film I shot.

Another great post, but I was hoping for a DG contrast...what did you do after the wedding? Or will we learn more in forthcoming posts?

You must have walked miles!

I didn't see any extra toilet facilities - were there any?

See, I was actually in London for it, but opted to watch it on the telly. I had a pang of 'but you're missing history.' But, I've been missing history my whole life.

@shoshee No the Queen does not sing along. Prince Philip does however, but did not sing with much gusto.

Was there all day, strangely didn't get the urge to go to the loo! Maybe the sight of all the portabel toilets just put me off.

Anyway, knocked together a rought video - if you want to get a feel of what it was like on the streets, amongst people play this:

(And indeed, the Queen does not sing along!)

I watched the main part on tv - thought the crowds would be too thick to see much and that I would need the loo before they came past! By couldn't resist entirely and came up for the evening, and caught a glimpse of them in the Mall heading back to the palace around 8pm. I'm not a great royalist but you have to say that we do this very well - amazing atmosphere in London, and it put us centre stage the world over. Thanks for your report DG!

Congratulations on getting two good positions in the course of the day.

I was *sort of* there. We decided to go for the leisurely picnic in Hyde Park option, as we could watch the ceremony while also soaking up the atmosphere. Got to Hyde Park Corner at nine, no crowding and a nice walk up to a slowly filling up park.

It really was brilliant - cheers from the 300,000(?) every time someone new was shown on the screen, lots of friendly joking between groups, and singing along. It was also very well organised, with toilets and refreshments galore.

Hyde Park caught all the fly-overs (including the Sea King) and the Battle of Britain Flight managed to bank round to come back and right over the top of the crowd.

In the intervals of BBC coverage we got a pretty good wedding band, who got the loudest singing of the day for 'Don't Want to Miss A Thing' and some good conga-lining (surely a must at all Royal wedding celebrations).

Shame to everyone who didn't come because of forecasts of drizzle.

Watched the flypast from The Strand before work. A fantastic atmosphere, quite unexpected.

I went along for the same reason: a sense of history in the making. I'm not much of a royalist, but I still thought it was a very special day. I don't think I've ever seen so many people in London wandering around the streets and parks; I imagine this is what VE Day might have been like.

Just to add that I think the clean up crews may have been from The Royal Parks, not Westminster Council - the ones I saw at Victoria Memorial certainly were. As an ex Royal Parks employee, I have to say I was immensely proud of my former colleagues for the hard work and hours I know they would have put in to prepare for the big day. So I would to say a big thank you here to Mark Wasilewski (Park Manager, The Green Park/St James's Park) and Rob Dowling (Park Manager, Hyde Park) and all the many other TRP and Enterprise staff involved, well done!

(Those official programmes are going for anything from £20 upwards on eBay now! I bought one, but I'm hanging on to it.)

I'm so glad you went! I always manage to miss it. 30 years ago my family left for a holiday in Seattle the day before and watched Charles & Di's wedding in the hotel, as jet-lag kicked in and we were wide awake at 2am!
30 year later I'm once again in the states, but this time watched the edited highlights and shed a silent tear of homesickness.

My dad as a little boy was there for VE day.

A lovely report, DG. And a very watchable video from geofftech. Thanks a lot, guys, you really captured the perspective from street level.

Hi DG,

I think I spotted the guy with the camera on a pole that you referred to. The BBC website has a gigapixel image of the happy couple in the carriage approaching Buckingham Palace here:

You can use the controls to pan and zoom into the wonderful image. It's like "people watching" from a laptop. Most fascinating. Anyway if you zoom into the tall "plinth" on the left hand side of the image (the plinth with what looks like a statue of a Greek God holding a shield, the happy couple's carriage has just passed it), you will notice a young girl sitting atop a chair which is above the crowd level leaning against the plinth. If you trace a horizontal line from her chin to just past the first hooded traffic light, you'll see a camera on a pole, with a glimpse of the bloke who is holding it up, looking up at it. Is that your man?

I was there too and you must have walked passed me as I waited by the side near the Radio 2 tent to join the procession up the Mall. I f only I'd known I would have said hullo!

I didn't want to go but my wife made me but I'm glad I did although I wish I hadn't walk up the Mall las we got stuck behind the Victoria Memorial and the inappropriate studio on it so al lwe saw was the edge of Mrs Middleton!

Fabulous post... funny how you lucked out for a front row seat. Thanks for sharing, as always.


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