Little did I know when I woke up this morning (at 5:15, but that's not what this post is about!) that today would prove to be a very exciting day in my life. Positive thinkers could argue that every day is an exciting day, but this one was extra-special, and a total surprise!
I was sitting in a meeting room in the office having a 1:1 meeting when I noticed lots of my colleagues gathering to look out the windows of our building. Now usually this can be because of a lot of sirens going past, or something dodgy happening at the bus stop across the street, so after my meeting I went to see what the fuss was. And this time it was exciting - the Queen, Her Royal Highness, Elizabeth II was going to be coming to Aldgate Station, the Tube station that is just next to our office. Fortunately lots of people had taken the liberty to take an early lunch break to go down and see if they could catch a glimpse, and I quickly dropped an IM to Michelle who I was due to have a meeting with to ask if she wouldn't mind my popping out to have a look too. She didn't mind - thanks, Mich!
So we were all gathered outside the station and at about 11:15, after traffic had been stopped to allow her £10m Bentley to cruise up to the station, out she emerged, looking splendid in an elegant red checked coat and very fancy feathered hat. I was too busy taking photos on my phone to actually see her this time around, so I made sure to do a better job when she exited at about 25 minutes later. It was very very exciting indeed.
She was there as part of a tour of the City of London and here are some of the more official news clips. Aldgate Station was the scene of one of the 7/7 London bomb attacks so it also struck home how close our building is to the location of that terrible event. As she got back into her car she gave a little wave and said, "Hello" and then she was off to other locations. Interestingly, her car actually broke down at one of her stops which must have been a bit of a shock to her.
I was pretty happy with my photos overall. Having seen my idol Madge, and now "her Maj", along with being in the arms of St Peter's Square the moment that Pope Benedict was announced as the Papal choice in 2005, I think I've done pretty well in the famous-people-sighting category. I would have thought I'd never get to see Her in person, so I guess it goes to show that upon waking, we really don't know what the day ahead may hold. And in a way, how cool is that?!