All Hail the Queen by Rachel Csaszar

As my time in London comes to an end, I’ve been busy trying to make the last few days count!
I’ve been lucky enough to experience some amazing things the past few weeks, and it’s going to be hard to leave all of the excitement and opportunities in this city.  We started our last two weeks in London with a trip down toward Buckingham Palace to see the Queen make her way by horse-drawn carriage to Parliament to make a speech before it was opened with the new elected members.
It was an amazing experience filled with all of the fanfare and excitement that I imagined would come with the Queen!
The parade started off with the entire royal guard filing out from Buckingham Palace and lining up on the main road that led to Parliament. Then came the royal marching band that stopped right next to where we had found spots next to the fence. They played various songs as we waited for the Queen, but first we were surprised to see a carriage making it’s way down that solely held the crown jewels. We were in awe that a crown had it’s own carriage, but then we were interrupted by a large herd of black horses galloping down the road.
The band began to play again, and we knew this time it was the Queen! She made her way down in another carriage with her husband by her side, waving regally to all of us standing next to the road. It was a surreal moment, especially looking her right in the eye. I never thought I would see the Queen in person, and never that close. There were about five other carriages that followed behind hers, filled with other members of the Royal family, but we didn’t recognize anyone else. After that, the band played another song and the royal guard marched back toward Buckingham Palace.
It was a great experience, and it only happens once every four years. After every election, Parliament must be opened again, and the Queen must make a speech. We were lucky enough to be here during the excitement of the election, and being able to still be here to see the Queen was icing on the cake.
Leaving London will certainly be bittersweet, and it’s hard to believe I’m flying home in 24 hours. It has been an amazing experience that I will never forget!

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