On Friday, we had another Royal event. I really was loving all of this pageantry!!
This time we were heading up to Windsor to attend the Queen’s Jubilee Pageant. It was also at the same time as the Royal Windsor Horse show. So we tied that all together with a visit to Windsor Castle.
We hopped on the bus outside our hotel and got that to Paddington Station. We then got some snacks at Marks and Spencer and Boots and jumped on the train to Windsor.
Waiting for the train –
Ticket machine photo for Ev –
On the train –
We had to change trains at a lovely little station called Slough –
Arriving in Windsor was fantastic and we did the short walk to the castle. A lot of the castle was cordoned off as the Queen was in residence and then also, because of the pageant that night, the place was a flurry of activity!
Home sweet home –
There was not many visitors at all so we had ample opportunity to relax in the grounds. For about half an hour we sat down on some chairs, looking over the gardens, pretty much on our own, eating Salt and Vinegar chips and watching the planes take off from Heathrow. It was peaceful, quiet and beautiful. We were just hanging out in Windsor Castle – how fabulous!
Our pre-packed M&S lunch –
Now let me fill the post with an excess of photos of the castle –
After going through the various displays and a spot of shopping in the Windsor souvenir shop we decided to go and discover a bit of the town of Windsor. This was when I discovered Cath Kidson. Think of a more English style of Vera Bradley… then you have the Cath Kidson store. It was gorgeous – with an upstairs/downstairs shopping area and everything in the most gorgeous prints ever. As soon as I saw the Hampton Rose print, I was in love. I got a case for my Metrocard/Dining Room card and work ID and also a new iPhone case.
Pretty hey? I love that store!
We then went and grabbed a cornish pastie and sat in the main street and watched the world go by as we watched some of the performers leave the castle and make their way to the arena for the pageant.
I just had to capture Bill devouring his first cornish pastie. They were REALLY good.
We took all of this activity as a hint that we better make our way over there. It was a good 15 minute walk to the castle where we passed literally hundreds of Land Rovers and ladies in hunter boots. Due to the rain, the area was muddy and it was then we realized that with our pageant ticket, we also got entrance to the Royal Windsor Horse show. It was SO GOOD and very muddy after the rain we experienced the day before.
Here I was, wandering around in my RM Williams when, out of nowhere – there was an RM Williams stall! The clothing and field goods were amazing. Bill had been searching for an Akurbra style hat since he first visited Australia. Unfortunately, he could never find any that fit! It was then, while we were browsing a random stall that I suggested Bill try on this ‘Australian bush leather’ hat. IT FIT! Of all places in the world, we found the perfect bush hat… in WINDSOR… and it was a GREAT price. We were high-fiving and cheering! I assume people would have thought we must have been crazy… or upon hearing Bill thought of us as one of ‘those strange American people’!
Here he is modeling his new hat –
We did some more wandering (and AWESOME people watching) and we finally made our way over to the special marquee where we were to join other guests with our package for some pre-pageant English hospitality. Slight problem, after walking all day (and for the past 2 weeks) my feet were killing me and there were NO chairs. Upon entering the marquee, we also realized, we were one of the youngest people there! We were assigned a stand up bar table and quickly became acquainted with the other guests.
Blurry photo of our marquee –
Many were charming English royal enthusiasts from all areas of England. One gentleman who I got talking to simply said “Our beautiful Queen gave up any kind of normal life for us and has served us so well – we wanted to come here to say thank you…” Awwwww! They were very excited to meet and chat with the resident New Yorker who was a Monarchist… and Bill was loving the attention!
Bill managed to find me a chair and we settled in for our sample of foods from around the world (we had the Around the World package) and it was lovely! We were all so excited and full of anticipation for the pageant. I found out earlier in the day that for our night, we would have Prince Edward and Sophie as the Royal guests and they were sitting just two bays from our seats! By the way, it was really chilly that night which is why we are all rugged up!
We got to the stands that was a small outdoor arena and we got talking to some of the people around us. Also, as part of our package we got a lovely plate and book and tote bag – as well as great seats! We were so lucky to experience such a great event – it was really one of those ‘pinch me’ moments!
Before we knew it, we were all standing for the Royal arrival and to sing God Save the Queen.
We were both a bit excited and this resulted in blurry photos. Here are Edward and Sophie arriving –
Then, the entertainment started. This was essentially a show of horses to reflect the Queen’s love of equestrian and we took a trip around the world with horse demonstrations from the countries the Queen has visited during her reign. I gave some loud cheers for the Australian performance which focused on the New South Wales police horses, but our favorites were the kossacks. The New Zealander’s did a haka directly to Edward and Sophie and they loved it!
New South Wales police horses –
The crowd cheered and there were lots of collective “Ohhhhs” and “Ahhhhs” throughout the night. Each of the performers were absolutely amazing and it must have been such an honor for them to be selected and to be flown to England to perform. Our show was on Friday night and there was also going to be the same performance on Saturday and Sunday – with the Sunday show being in front of Her Majesty herself.
It ended way too quickly but we were also exhausted and now, had to get the train back to London. Everyone was quiet on the train (exact opposite of the Collingwood crowd after a night match!) and I was pretty much dreaming of my pyjamas. When we got back to the hotel at midnight, I just had to call mum and dad and tell them all about it. We got to enjoy a real slice of England and had a brush with royalty – it was definitely a day and night that we would never forget!