Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Her Majesty? Her Royal Highness?

In the course of the last month, I saw the two of the most famous/important people I have ever seen in my life. Exactly a month ago, I took my first trip to Rome and received the pope's blessing in St. Peter's Square. Today, it was the Queen of England. Maybe next month I should head down to Madrid so I can catch a glimpse of David Beckham?

So, the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh were in Cambridge today. And it was the nicest day we've had so far this summer, so what better to do in the afternoon than stand around and wait to say hi. Rumor had it she would have a 10-minute walkabout and might even chat with some of her subjects. Of course, I was there with two of my classmates, all of us American--and all just here in the UK since September (I am studying for the MBA at Cambridge)--and we got to thinking...if she comes to talk to us, how are we supposed to address her? Your Majesty? Your Royal Highness? Where are our British classmates when we need them? We settled on Your Majesty...though it didn't matter in the end as she started her walkout 10 yards from us and headed in the other direction. Ahh, so close. Still, another highlight of an amazing year.

But the more we thought about it, something was missing. Security. There I was 10 yards from the Queen. No metal detectors. No bomb-sniffing dogs. No search of my big, full backpack. No police on the rooftops. Nobody checked my ID when I went into a building that connects to another the Duke was to visit later in the day. Maybe I'm paranoid after being 4 blocks from the twin towers on 9/11 and subsequently having to go through a metal detector on my way to work daily and getting used to seeing rifle-toting military in Grand Central Station. It certainly was nice to not have the added hassle and inconvenience of high reminded me of the good old days, the days before 9/11. I'm not sure whether that carefree feeling was more liberating or worrying. Nothing happened, so let's stay with the positive...

...Such a wonderful day in the sun, seeing the Queen and then heading home to relax in the sun.


At 9:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good story there, mate. Of course, now that you are back the US of A,
you probably realize that the blokes in Grand Central were carrying M16's, and not the communist bloc AK-47's! Your education continues!

At 3:00 PM, Blogger Kedro said...

On both points, you are spot on there. Admittedly, back in my days in the UK my gun knowledge was very minimal and I'd never fired one in my life -- compared to now as a proud gun owner who enjoys regular trips to the range to continue my education. (story edited above)


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