Monday, June 4, 2012

Flotilla Madness

Well, here we are at the Queen's Jubilee flotilla. What, you can't see us? Well, that's because there were a BAZILLION people there! (Actually I'm not in the above shot -- I just took it -- so don't bother trying to find us.) From my position deep in the crowd I could see the river if I stood on tiptoe, but poor Sarah -- who is shorter than I -- couldn't see much more than the tops of passing flags and masts. Still, we expected that, so we weren't disappointed at all. In fact, we had a blast. (Dave stayed home, electing to watch events unfold on TV.)

We stood in an area with a large viewing screen, so we could see everything close-up as it occurred. The tricky part was figuring out which boats were on the river right in front of us, relative to what was happening on the screen.

I saw the gilded trim and flags of the Gloriana, the large rowing vessel that led the procession, pass in front of us and I thought it might have been the royal barge. But then, eventually, the real barge came into view.

This is the best shot I could get -- it moved surprisingly quickly and the crowds were so thick, I could only hold my camera in the air, click and pray. (I wish I'd thought to manually set the focus rather than rely on auto, which is why the crowd is in focus but the boat isn't. Oh well.) That blurry red speck on the top deck to the right is Kate Middleton, and I believe Prince William is standing next to her. I could see suited male figures with white gloves waving, but I couldn't be sure who they were. And I couldn't see the queen herself.

Hmm. There is a figure in white with a hat to the left of Kate Middleton. Could that be her? Or is that Camilla? Some focus would have helped, here.

The people with the best views were those who could get some elevation, either on the balcony of a lucky friend...

... or on a parent's shoulders.

I spent most of the time just photographing the crowds. The get-ups were quite amusing. I have a set of photos on Flickr here, if you'd like to see more.

Someone launched these flaming lanterns, which seemed crazily hazardous to me, but they looked great sailing through the sky.

As we were leaving, I spotted this ridiculously photogenic group atop a roof overlooking the river. I mean, really. They could be models.

Fortunately we were near the beginning of the procession so we got out of there before the heavy rain started. We were on our way back to the tube by that point -- we had to walk all the way from the Pimlico riverfront to Knightsbridge to find a tube station that wasn't immobilized by the sheer volume of people. We managed to get home pretty easily, and we ended the day with a very British dinner -- curry from Masala Zone.


Reya Mellicker said...

I love these! Of course there are "official" pics but yours bring me much closer to imagining what it was like.

The Queen is truly eternal! Wow.

The Bug said...

So cool that you were there for this! And you are right - that group at the end ARE models. They have to be :)

37paddington said...

thank you for taking us there. the energy in these pics remind me a little of when the crowds went to washington for the inauguration of obama.

Jenny Woolf said...

Your photos are very good. Mine were so dim and dark, because of the crummy weather. We were in Chelsea and it was much the same - except that we cycled back so got the full force of the rain. Even though we were in waterproofs, underwear was still soaked with the rain! wow.
But I am glad I went, and I'm told the BBC commentary was fatuous. I would rather get the atmosphere "on the spot">

Linda Sue said...

I have flotilla envy! The entire celebration just gives me goose flesh and I let out a little peep of a cheer to see your photos! Wish i was there! Thank you for making it seem as though I might be! Love the crowds! They are all so happy!

Elizabeth said...

Great! I eagerly awaited these, and I really enjoyed them -- glad you had fun and were able to capture the spirit of the day!

Gary said...

That is a photogenic group - wow!