Cool Britannia

Like Stonehenge, Big Ben and red double decker buses, rain is a quintessential part of England. Tea and crumpets maybe more delightful, but London’s cloudy skies produce an intriguing show of water works. The most culture shocking thing about London are the days when the sun peeks it’s bright eyed face.

Londoners always walk the streets with an umbrella. Although a bit of blue colors the grey buildings, the possibility of a downpour is inevitable. I learned this lesson the hard way.

On a trip to London with my mom, we wondered the capital. We made our way around Buckingham Palace. The mall leading to the palace was covered in British flags, camera crews and Bobbies stood behind the barricades. People gathered along the Mall. We asked this lovely old couple what was going on. Enthusiastically, they proclaimed the Queen and royal family are going to make an appearance.

It was quite exciting indeed. Only issue, the skies above the capital looked, as they were about to burst with raindrops. I convinced my mom to stand in the cold to see the royals. A few sprinkles came down. However, I kept warm by doing a little jog around the park. It was quite a scene, ladies in big hats and well dressed gentlemen suitors wandered around. The miniature Union Jacks waved proudly from both sides of the street.

The pomp then commenced. Guards from Buckingham Palace led the procession. Followed by the horse guards. The first open air carriage that arrived featured the Queen Mum, Prince Phillip and Prince Charles. They had distinctive long noses and porcelain skin.

As they’re carriage passed another set of guards on horses paraded through the Mall. Unfortunately, one of the horses couldn’t hold his bladder and shit ended up lining the road. The crowd erupted in laughter.  Right after the horse had his bladder relieved, the Queen arrived. Regardless of horseshit, the Queen’s carriage carried on.

She covered her fancy hat with a clear colored umbrella. She didn’t wave to the crowd, but it was an experience nonetheless. My mom and I walked toward the tube excited. A casual walk toward Green Park and Buckingham Palace turned into an unexpected encounter with the royals.

Torrential rain followed us to the tube. We did what any good tourists would do and rushed to Harrods’s to buy umbrellas. The umbrellas allowed us to enjoy an afternoon of lunching and museum hopping in South Kensington and Chelsea, regardless of rain.

Two days later, London was hit with a heat wave. My mom made me take boat and bus tour, since they were included in our holiday package. However, after the boat ride on the Thames, we secretly hoped to be splashed with more London rain.

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