Posts Tagged ‘royal barge’

Having spent the night in Leeds, we packed and left early on the last leg of our journey to London. ¬†After a rainy ride and a much-appreciated bus switch, we were delivered to our hotel in the city. ¬†After a short break, we collected our tickets for the London Underground (aka the Tube) and made our way to London Bridge to vie for a spot from which to watch the parade down the river Thames of the royal barge, followed by scores of smaller boats. Even in the light rain and chill of the afternoon, the excitement of the city to kick off the Diamond Jubilee celebrations was palpable. Celebrating Queen Elizabeth’s 60th year of rule, it was an occasion of great import to the Londoners and to most subjects of the crown.

However, the obvious pride the occupants of the city took in the ocassion threw into sharp relief the more restrained–perhaps forced–festive appearance of places like Belfast in Northern Ireland, still divided into Protestant and Catholic neighborhoods seperated by ‘peace fences.’ (As a rule, Protestants favored the monarchy/union with Great Britain, and Catholics opposed it.)

After disentangling ourselves from the herd of residents and other visitors trying to escape the rain after the parade, we made our way back to the hotel to meet for dinner.


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