Meeting the Queen in Birmingham


The Queen of England in BirminghamYear: 2012

Month: July

Place: Birmingham, UK

Time: Early morning on a pleasant sunny day


Holidays are often full of surprises and unplanned visits. During one of our long summer vacations in Birmingham, it just happened that The Queen, who was travelling across the length and breadth of the country as part of her Diamond Jubilee Tour, reached West Midlands, and Birmingham was among the last few stops before the culmination of this national tour.

As part of the celebrations, once the tour of the country finished, she, as well as other members of the Royal family, visited numerous places all around the world. As is often the case, the entire year was filled with news of Royal visits from across the globe.

While in the West Midlands, HM The Queen along with HRH The Duke of Edinburg visited Birmingham’s Victoria Square at 10:10 (on the dot) on 12th of July 2012.

The presence of the Queen is felt throughout the nation all year round, every year, but there are only a few chances to actually see her up close. A number of locals spend their entire lives not having seen her, while others like me get lucky, with this opportunity of a lifetime.

My parents had previously seen the Queen once before as she drove by through a small village up North, but that had been a blink, and you’ll miss appearance. Her visit to Birmingham was different as she was scheduled to interact with the public and spend some time in the city.

Aware of the popularity surrounding the Queen, it was only obvious that I, along with my daughter, mother, and wife, made my way to the event location a good 2 hours before her arrival, just to get a front row space.

A quick breakfast was all we could manage while standing behind the barricade as we “protected” our hotly desired territory. The weather, after a few days of gloom, seemed to have opened up in anticipation of the Queen’s arrival and the sun was shining bright with pure white clouds drifting among the clear blue sky.

Special jubilee flags swayed in the cool gentle wind with the hushed chatter between the audiences rising every few minutes as the excitement levels increased with each passing minute.

The security was extremely efficient with members of the local Birmingham Police working alongside spotters high up on the buildings, and police dogs checking every pothole. Even with a huge gathering and massive police presence, there was a certain calmness to all the activities and preparations.

England - Flag

The Lord Mayor of Birmingham and the Mayoress came along to chat with the waiting public, and we were one of the few they stopped by for a quick conversation. In fact, the Mayoress was rather impressed with my four-year-old daughter’s pink sunglasses.

The Queen arrived to deafening sounds of cheering. She met with all the officials and was presented with a bouquet and a locally produced “plaque” by the city. She then walked around meeting the assembled crowd and passed by our standing space. As you can see from the photographs, we were only a few inches away from her and had it not been for her security and my love of life, I could have even touched her.

HM The Queen of England

Meeting the Queen in Birmingham

I did see her lock eyes with my daughter for a split second, almost as if she was about to say something to her, but at the very last second her attention was diverted and she moved on. Oh well…

The Queen in BirminghamAlways smiling, there was a glowing calm on her face as she went about performing her duties and talking to a select few individuals. Her entire stay at Victoria Square lasted about 15-20 minutes, but it was a memorable moment for the people who were present, as it sure was for us.

Needless to say, I love these little surprises that get thrown in our paths when we travel and this one, thank God for photographic proof, will stay with us for quite some time.


20 replies »

  1. Wow this looks like you had quite a blast there. I would love to see the queen. She always is so classy and stylish. And I think she is super active for her age. It definitely paid of the waiting time 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The only royalty I have seen was Michael Jackson back in the 90’s! The Queen is high on my list of people I’d love to see. It sounds ridiculous but I am impressed she looked at your daughter, I would be so happy if she looked at my daughter. You got some wonderful photographic evidence and you can tell everyone you saw the queen!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. What a stroke of luck that you were there!! And such a special memory for your daughter! I met the Queen when she came to Wales as part of her Golden Jubilee Tour back in 2002. It was such an incredible experience – I was part of the school choir, only 10 years old and not really clued up on the importance of the Royal Family, but even I was blown away by her presence. She stopped for a little chat with me and a few friends- 14 years later and I remember the whole thing like it was yesterday!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. What a fabulous experience! I’m a Brit who has never seen the Queen in the flesh – but I would love to one day. She’s an amazing ambassador for the UK, and I just love that she reminds me of my Grandma! You’re very lucky to have met her!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. What a once in a lifetime experience! And what a claim for your daughter, the Queen actually looked her in the eye! That’s unreal! She’ll be telling that story to her grandkids one day!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. What an amazing experience! I love how grand an event this was, it’s the kind of thing you typically only see in movies. Your daughter has such an amazing story to tell in the future, so glad your family was able to see the Queen!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. What a great experience! I can’t imagine how exciting that must have been for your kids. It’s wonderful the strange and unique surprises that we get on our travels

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I can imagine your delight. Travel is all about such moments. Often we are delighted by the surprises and also learn to accept when the surprises are not very delightful. Lovely photos and great moment

    Liked by 1 person

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