Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Dateline: London...Report on the Queen

Your scribe has been somewhat taciturn of late, for the reason that he has been travelling (all spelling in this post will be according to British usage, in order to satisfy the Queen's spell-checkers). The weather in London is cloudy, with intermittent light showers. The traffic is heavy, but the mood of the man and the woman in the street is stiff upper lip with a heavy dose of wry British humour, as exemplified by the bus conductor who announced the Charing Cross stop by saying, "Trains to all points, and watching pigs fly." Since the break-up of British Railways, flying pigs are more usual than reliable train service, it seems.

As for the Queen, she seems to be in fine fettle. Last evening your scribe and his guest represented Greenwich in the Throne Room at St. James's Palace. At the assembly point, your scribe was curious to see that his entry ticket was a different colour from those of his friends around him. What did this portend, he wondered? Would the Greenwich contingent be relegated to the Royal scullery?

Far from it, as it turned out. As your scribe passed through room after room full of stately paintings and furnishings, the ushers kept waving him onward. Surely there was some mistake? But no, "Please pass through, sir, and keep going straight on." Finally there were no more rooms through which to pass. Your scribe had reached the Throne Room.

Only the small velvet rope in front of the throne kept him from veryifying the comfortableness of the royal seat, all in the interests of watching out for Her Majesty's best interests, of course. He was offered a glass of English sparkling wine, which looked and tasted much like vintage French champagne, except better, of course. Hors d'oeuvres were passed by an assiduous staff of waitpersons. The quails' eggs were something new to the scribal palate.

Then the door from the Council Chamber opened, and the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh processed forth to offer a handshake and personal greetings to those in the front row. And since your scribe had been specifically instructed to stand in the front row by the powers in charge, he received the royal handshake. Her Majesty and the Duke then went on to the other rooms, where it is reported that only a very few others were signalled out for the full presentati0n treatment. Otherwise the Queen would have been there until midnight.

And so, dear reader, your scribe is spending the day puttering around London. He presented himself at the American Embassy at Grosvenor Square, but the police at the barricades seemed unimpressed. Likewise the door at 10 Downing Street remained closed to him, as the current Prime Minister is fighting for his political life (and losing). But at least the hospitality at the Palace was warm. All in all, it was worth making the trip.


Blogger Lauren Mott said...

This must have been so exciting for you! I adore the Royal Family! Why did you get such a special honour?

June 13, 2009 10:55 PM  
Blogger Malicious Intent said...

Welcome home!

June 14, 2009 2:26 PM  
Blogger Bill Clark said...

Hey, Lauren, thanks for stopping by! And congratulations on your recent wedding! Great pics!

As for why, I'm still trying to figure that one out. I recently published my first novel, and since the Queen is a character in it, I sent a copy off to the palace. Interestingly, in the novel the hero gets to meet the Queen. Is my fiction turning into fact? Dee dah, dee dah...(cue the Twilight Zone theme).

Hi, there, MI, haven't hear from you for at least an hour, and was beginning to wonder...I had a great time!

June 14, 2009 3:11 PM  
Blogger Malicious Intent said...

Did you bring me back a present?

June 22, 2009 9:39 PM  
Blogger Bill Clark said...

Sorry, M. I., the Palace was steeped in the past, not the present.

June 23, 2009 10:25 AM  

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