All About the Queen
My two weeks in Scotland and the UK were supposed to have been all about golf courses, palace tours, and teatimes. That was before Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II died.
In the course of an afternoon - from 12:30 Scotland time, when Buckingham Palace announced that the queen was not doing well, until 6:30 that evening when it was announced she had passed away at Balmoral Castle in Scotland – our trip shifted focus. It was all about Queen Elizabeth.
For sure, at least the women of the eight couples I was traveling with were already intrigued with The Royals. But once the queen’s death was announced, and the hotel bar stopped playing music as we sat there, and a hostess quietly informed each table what had occurred, we realized we were witnessing history.
Incredibly, our itinerary coincided with that of the queen. We were in Edinburgh the day the caravan carrying her coffin made its way through the city to the Palace of Holyroodhouse, the official royal residence in Scotland. Along with thousands of others, we placed flowers outside Holyrood, and we stopped on the side of the highway from Edinburgh to St. Andrews to pay our respects to the queen and Princess Anne following behind.
And then we were in London when the queen’s body lay in state at Westminster Hall. Our hotel happened to be less than a block from Buckingham Palace, giving us another front-row seat to an extraordinary moment. Hours after the queen’s coffin traveled with King Charles III, Prince William, and Prince Harry to Westminster Hall, we stood outside the palace, in the exact spot where the long walk began.
We left London two days before Monday’s funeral (10 days after the queen’s death), our tours of Holyrood and Buckingham Palace having been cancelled. We’ll have to go back for those. But what an experience we had, just by chance.
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