The everyday blog of Richard Bartle.
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5:19pm on Friday, 28th March, 2014:
Here's a photograph of me this afternoon in the quadrangle of Buckingham Palace:
No, really. Look, here are some soldiers armed with pikes to stop me from attacking The Queen:
They travel around in this discreet vehicle:
I was there because today was the day my friend Eddie Slater picked up his MBE for services to the Normandy Veterans. This is what it looks like:
The Queen does actually give out the awards personally, and she chats with each recipient. I was looking at her (about 5 metres away) when the National Anthem was played by a 12-piece orchestra of household soldiers. I saw someone get knighted (right shoulder first, then left shoulder). I sat in the ballroom along with a couple of hundred other guests for an hour while the ceremony went on (no photos inside the palace — a pity, as some of the paintings on the walls were very famous). Then I went outside, where photos were allowed, and I took some. Eddie, meanwhile, was interviewed by the British Forces Broadcasting Service and photographed by the palace media people for their web site. Then I came home and wrote this. OK, well I killed Flappy in TSW first and took the photos off my camera and stuff.
Apparently, there are 25 of these investitures every year. They're basically like university degree congregations, apart from the fact that the recipient gets to talk to the person handing them the letters after their name. Oh, and we didn't have to applaud, either, which was a blessing.
I remember walking up the Mall when I was 18, visiting London for the first time. I was really excited. This was London! That was Buckingham Palace! I was going to see Buckingham Palace! I'd never imagined I'd get to see Buckingham Palace, yet there it was. It didn't just exist on TV, it existed in real life.
I didn't think back then that I'd actually get to go inside it.
Well, now I have done.
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