Yesterday, 28th April, I decided to recce the Royal Wedding route in preparation for shooting there today (not in any official capacity you understand). So I popped down to Victoria and thought I'd take a stroll across to Buck Palace and then take a look along the route to Westminster Abbey. On approaching the palace I thought I'd got the day wrong and was arriving at the wedding. There were thousands gathered around the palace and the place had a buzz.
Any casual strolling was out, it was something of a free for all to push yorurself where you wanted to go. I decided top go with the flow as I didn't have a plan.
I spotted this solitary tent right opposite the Palace. At this point I was unaware of all the people who had camped outside the Abbey and in the Mall so this tent took me by surprise. I made my way through the crowd over to where the tent was and I met the folk in the image below, the cameraman in this image was still there and had filmed them as well.
Well this is the Brown family from Crawley. Mum Sarah, second from left, next to her Mum Pam Bing and they are with Sarah's two sons - wait for it - George and Harry. The four of them were going to spend the night in the little tent pictured above. They were so excited. Harry explained to me at some length why it was better to be here in person, even if it meant sleeping on the pavement, rather than not be part of it and watch on TV alone. Well guys I promised to mention you so if you are looking at this I hope you had a great time.
I slowly made my way to the Mall. It was a real crush, I assume today you just can't move and simply stay where you are. Behind me I heard a female voice apologise for pushing but she was on air in ten minutes and was so late she would be in desperate trouble. I held my camera up in the air and continually stated 'excuse me, mind your backs, thank you' and pushed through the crowd with the little blonde presenter hanging on my tails. It was amazing the rapid progress we made. She thanked me and dashed into her portable studio of which there are simply dozens and I made my way off down the Mall.
The image to the right is not my presenter friend (you guessed?) but one of the dozens of loyal citizens who were camping in the Mall. I realised now that the Browns were neither exclusive or anywhere near as extrovert as the hardcore royal supporters I was about to meet. They came in all shapes, sizes and nationalities. The Commonwealth appears alive and healthy!
NOT EVERYONES HERE FOR THE WEDDING!
On my way to the Abbey I passed Westminster. The various peace protesters for various causes who are camping here all the time had a lot of new neighbours and I assume a lot of interest. They were certainly taking the opportunity to get their message across. There was a certain irony with the contrast of purpose of the protesters and the public there for the wedding.
I left the protesters and came across this Lifeguard on duty. His expression says it all. I was a fair way away from him, between me and him were a constant stream of tourists wishing to photograph and oggle him. Mind you he was more fortunate than one around the corner who was on foot not horse. How he kept still and compsoed I really don't know how.
Opposite the Abbey it was rammed, dozens and dozens of campers, most with just sleeping bags or beds and some with tents and hundreds and hundreds of media folk. This young lady was attracting a lot of interest, TV cameras and interviewers and, yes, me! Well she had Kate's dress, Kates hair but do I detect an oriental heritage? Surely she could not be attempting to be a Kate look alike?
Then her minder spoke to me, in a New York accent " You from the press?" he enquired sounding like someone out of the Sopranos. "If you want me to be", I jauntily replied (most of the whole worlds press were within 500m of where we were standing, it semed an odd question). "Well are you our ain't you"was his short reply. "I'm freelance", I replied.The big, round white suited man now relaxed and handed me his card.
Mr Evan Guttman CIO of
The Natural Sapphire Company
6 East 45th Street , the 20th Floor Penthouse no less! Well I made another promise of a blog mention, I gave him my card (which does not contain and address so no embarrasment about being on the ground floor) and before I could find out if he was selling these sapphire rings for a tenner a pop or not the Old Bill moved our little media circus on and we got split up.
I have included an image below close up of one of Mr Guttman's sapphires. I need to promote him because I'm not sure that the 20th floor is actually that high in New York!
I've included the image below, there were so many such sights outside the abbey but I was struck by this ladies hat. Had she been camping there since 1997?
I made my way off to The Westminster pub, but there was no escaping Will and Kate
After a coupe of pints I decided to head home now fully prepared for the big day tommorrow. Just as I was boarding the train I got a tweet advising me I had a press pass for a gig in Camden that evening. I'd given up on any chance of one but I could not afford to miss it. I hopped off the train and made my way to Camden to kill a couple of hours before the gig. My elbow was by now letting me know I was overdoing things (for those who don't know I had a operation on it four weeks ago). I shot Don Broco and decided to call it a day. This morning, well during the night, I decided I had overdone it and my elbow would need to rest, a return visit to Westmisnster for the wedding was not for me. So I'm spending today between the TV and Photoshop, oh and this blog post. So below is one of my final images of yesterday Simon Delaney of