For as long as I can recall, I've always wanted to travel to London. I do not recall a time when it wasn't at the top of my "Places to Travel" list. In 1996, I got the opportunity to go to London for the summer and study their Political and Criminal Justice system.
You know how when you build a place up for years and years in your mind, and then you go there and it kind of disappoints? London was not that place for me! It was everything I imagined it to be and more. Here I am on my first day in London....
I got to see and do all sorts of things over the summer. It was wonderful. I even got to visit Buckingham Palace (it's only open August and September and tours only began in the 1990's). On a trip to Dover Castle, we noticed a lot of hub-bub and decided to hang out and see what was happening. Much to my delight, it was Elizabeth, the Queen Mother!
Then in 1997, I went back to London for a week with my grandmother. I was her tour guide for the week, as she had never been to London before. We saw lots of things and did a couple of excursions to Windsor and to Edinburgh, Scotland. But on the day when I was showing her around Buckingham Palace, St. James Park, etc., we again noticed a flurry of activities around the Palace. We decided to wait and see what was going on and low and behold it was a big to-do. Lots of marching bands, lots of marching soldiers and the royal family came out in carriages and traveled down the Mall!
You can see the queen through the carriage windows!
So those are my close encounters with the Royal Family. My grandmother and I went back the next year for a couple of weeks and toured all over England, Scotland and Ireland. We did not have any close royal encounters though. I got super spoiled going to London three years in a row. I kind of thought I would continue to visit, but I haven't been back since 1998. This makes me super sad! I do love it so....