One cannot live in England and not have some form of engagement with the Royal Family. I’ve lived in England for an entire decade now and twice I had the privilege of experiencing a rather spectacular historical event.
My friend, Brenda, and I met when Queen Elizabeth II celebrated her Diamond Jubilee. We had a street party where we live and we both were desperate to go into London to wave at the Queen as she passes on her Royal Barge, the MV Spirit of Chartwell. That was the start of a
crazy beautiful friendship that will see us not only getting soaked on the banks of the River Thames as we waited for hours to see the Queen, but also getting sunburnt whilst waiting for Meghan to marry her Prince.
The moment the engagement was announced, we agreed that we just had to be there.
At first I wasn’t too sure on how one would go about to paint one’s nails for a Royal Wedding, but at last I decided that maybe this was an apt time to try and paint the British Flag.
This was not so easy to do at midnight the night before the big day. Armed with only a paint brush, two stamping plates and a scraper in someone else’s home I was scared that I might make a Royal mess… The painted lines were not straight by any stretch of the imagination and there was no way I could take it off to try again as I forgot to bring quite a few bits and bobs (my striper brush being one of them and toothbrush the other!)
Every wedding needs a bit of sparkle so I painted my ring fingers with Nails Inc’s Fibre Optic and stamped the left one with a crown along with the phrase ‘God save the Queen’. My right ring finger was an ode to Phoebe from Friends:
“She’s your lobster. C’mon you guys. It’s a known fact that lobsters fall in love and mate for life. You can actually see old lobster couples, walking around their tank, you know, holding claws. … See? He’s her lobster!”
We planned to take the first train out into Windsor (because no-one gets up at 5am on a Saturday!) and hopefully have a great spot along the procession route as we will be the first people there. Boy, were we wrong!
Friends of Brenda decided to camp out the night before. They secured a cracking spot on the Long Walk, about 100m from the Castle gate. As I wasn’t in the business of getting cold (or sick) we decided to stick to our original plan and meet up with Maggie and Gill upon our arrival. At 5am we arrived at the train station ready to take the first train out. It was busy. Not what we expected! On the platform we heard a voice: ‘So far things are going to plan!’ That was it; Jacqui became part of the musketeers!
At 6am, Windsor was already heaving with people from all the corners of the earth. The people next to us came all the way from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in the United States. They arrived on Friday night just to fly back straight after the ceremony. Now that is dedication!
For eight hours we stood, sat, walked (only to the bin and back) and laughed a lot! (Wine gum anyone?!). We made friends with our resident police officer (Gary) and we even found Wally in the crowd!
At 11:47 Ms Markle (as she was still known by) came racing past on her way to St George’s Chapel. This left us somewhat deflated as none of us could get a good peek at her, let alone a get a decent picture!
98 minutes later the Duke and Duchess of Sussex waved their way into the hearts of the entire world as they embarked on their maiden voyage as husband and wife through the streets of Windsor. What an experience!