Conveniently, the Queen decided to visit York today for the traditional handing out of the Maundy money in the Minster. York's celebrating 800 years as a self-governing city, she's celebrating her Diamond Jubilee, Micklegate's decided to reinvent itself as a nice place to be - so all in all, lots of reasons for a party.
I dressed Charlotte up in her Sunday best (you know, just in case Ma'am decided to stoop down and speak to her) and we headed off to a remarkably sunny Micklegate, where the Queen was going to ask permission to enter the city (she has to, apparently) at the Bar. The empty Royal Car drove past us as we entered Nunnery Lane at Bishopthorpe Road shops, going to pick up Her Maj from her Royal Train at the station. (There's never any taxis, you see.) Charlotte and I entered the walls at Victoria Bar and found a front-row spot outside Micklegate post office. Charlotte had a Union Jack flag, but before long she'd chewed it, dropped it and let a little boy stamp on it and break it, and there was still no sign of the Queen. Sigh. But eventually the ceremony at the Bar was over and convoy came past, heading to the Minster. I got a quick glimpse of the Duke of Edinburgh smiling and waving but then got so distracted trying to take photographs (one picture got flags in the way, then the camera was resetting, then she was already past) that my recollection of the Queen is rather fleeting and consists of little more than a turquoise hat. I'd like to say Charlotte saw more, but she seemed to be busy enjoying the hovering helicopter above us, the helium balloons floating skywards, and the buttons on the coat of the lady standing next to us. But however little Charlotte may have taken in, I took her to see the Queen.
Next stop: Olympic Flame on Bishopthorpe Road, June 19th 2012.