The Queen’s real (but not official) birthday
You might not have realized it, but a few weeks ago, on April 21, it was Queen Elizabeth’s
75th (oops, I meant 85th!) birthday. Yes, it was her actual and real birthday, and not the “official” birthday that is celebrated in June. (Fun fact: they celebrate it officially in June because the weather is more likely to cooperate for the trooping of the guard!)
It was just a regular Thursday for most people, including me. Until lunchtime, that is. I am quite lucky in that I work right by London Bridge, which is just a 5 minute walk up the Thames from Tower Bridge and the Tower of London. And to celebrate the Queen’s real birthday, they had a 62 gun salute in her honot at the Tower of London promptly at 1pm. (Don’t ask me why it was only 62 guns and not 85… I don’t know.)
Luckily, I usually take my lunch hour at 1pm. So after a brisk walk through London Bridge station and over to the Hays Galleria, I had a pretty good view from across the river (although it was handy having a super-zoom on my camera). There were three cannon, and they were alternating in setting off the empty shells. There wasn’t actually a ball involved, but there was a big boom and a lot of smoke. It was pretty cool hearing the boom reverberate on the buildings of Southwark.
I couldn’t help but be really excited by all this. I had invited several of my co-workers to come along, but they were all pretty apathetic and thought I was a typically dorky American for caring. But hey! If it was my 85th birthday, and I was getting a 62 gun salute, I would think it was pretty neat!