The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, which marked her 70th anniversary as monarch, took place last weekend.
The milestone was marked by celebratory events across London.
I have attended many events and found that the reality is not as it appears on social media.
On the first weekend of June, thousands of people from around the world flocked to London, UK, to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, which marked her 70th anniversary on the throne.
I was in town from Wednesday June 1 through Sunday June 5 to cover Insider’s Jubilee. Although the trip was amazing, I saw another perspective that was not shown on social media or on TV.
The first event I attended was the Trooping the Color parade on June 2. The parade of royal horses, soldiers and musicians took place at Buckingham Palace Mall and was followed by an appearance by the Royal Family on the palace balcony.
The parade was open to the public. Buckingham Palace Road was understandably very busy and the roads were cordoned off as people made their way to the palace.
Hundreds of people marched through nearby St James’s Park two hours before the event was scheduled to start.
I finally arrived at the parade route on The Mall, a street that starts at Buckingham Palace and ends at Trafalgar Square.
Some people brought stools to help them see over the massive crowds, and I wish I had thought of the idea myself.
Others brought chairs to stay comfortable during their hours of waiting.
When the parade started at 10 a.m., some people didn’t try to see over the crowds and instead opted to sunbathe on the nearby grass.
I found a spot at the end of the parade route and had a pretty clear view at the start.
When the royals showed up in cars, however, it was extremely difficult to see all the camera phones in the sky.
At the end of the parade, the mall barricades were removed and everyone was invited to Buckingham Palace for a flyover.
The royal family watched from the balcony. My view of them was partially obstructed since a stage was being built for the Platinum Party concert, which was to take place later this weekend.
I felt sorry for the tourists who might be seeing the palace for the very first time that day, because it was so crowded that you couldn’t even take a photo without being bombarded.
Later that evening, a lights-on ceremony took place at Buckingham Palace.
The palace was cordoned off and guarded by security guards since the event was not open to the public.
The palace was off limits for most of the weekend. Several times when I tried to stop and take a photo I was told to “keep moving” by security.
On June 3, images of the Queen were projected onto the palace. Although a spectacular sight, the palace was still partially cordoned off and you could only walk very far into The Mall before being stopped by security.
On June 4, the BBC Platinum Party at the Palace took place. The concert at Buckingham Palace saw artists such as Alicia Keys and Queen and Adam Lambert take the stage.
The concert was open to those who had won tickets in a public ballot. For non-ticket holders, a small screening took place at nearby St. James’s Park.
There was also the option to watch from The Mall. While the atmosphere was electric, it was impossible to see.
The surrounding area was crowded with royal fans, security guards and large groups of police on duty.
And it wasn’t just the palace that was busy over the Jubilee weekend. The whole city was overcrowded.
There were long queues at the metro stations.
This was particularly the case in central London after major royal events, such as Piccadilly Circus station after the Platinum Party. I felt bad for Londoners working in the area trying to get home.
The two things I was guaranteed to see every day were crowds of people and Union Jack flags.
Overall, the Jubilee weekend was spectacular, but it also taught me that you shouldn’t always trust what you see on TV screens or on social media.
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