Week two of being in London came with a lot more discovery the city and culture. The week began with class on Monday, where I attended my Internship class and then my global accounting issues class dressed in an American flag shirt on Memorial Day. I certainly got a lot of funny looks and a few “you better not wear that for the Jubilee” comments, but overall, the reaction was not too bad. To be fair we beat the British in the revolutionary war so they couldn’t talk too much! On Tuesday I went to work where I helped with a website design for my boss. He is the CEO of two different companies and this week I was helping with AllOfficials as opposed to the London Basketball Association. In terms of site visits, unfortunately there was no site visit for my accounting class this week, with two upcoming next week at Transport for London and the Financial Reporting Council. I am looking forward to the upcoming site visits and hope to get a lot out of both.
Moving past class and work, this past weekend was the Jubilee weekend. I’m going to be honest I had no clue about it until I got to London, but I am so incredibly glad I got to experience it. The Jubilee this year was of the Platinum variety, with Queen Elizabeth being on the throne for 70 years. This is an incredible accomplishment which we are sure to not see again in our lifetimes. For me, this incredible weekend began with the Queens birthday parade on Thursday. Myself, my roommates and some other friends from our building left our flat to get on the train at 8am, arriving at St. James Park by 9am. The parade began at 10am and was very interesting, it started with horses going by ridden by Beefeaters (the people with the large hats and red outfits). After them came the royal bands where these talented musicians were playing instruments while riding horses. That was impressive to see and not something I would be able to do, horses and instruments are both not my fancy. After them came through part of the royal family, and we were able to see Kate and Camille. I am not incredibly familiar with the royal family but from what I was told they are both married to men in line for the throne, making them in line to be queens. After seeing the processions my favorite part of the entire weekend and probably the trip to this point came. After the street sweepers came through to get rid of what the horses left behind, the police cleared out the barriers and all of the spectators were allowed to enter the national mall (the road out from Buckingham palace towards Trafalgar square). After being let into the mall we were greeted with a flyover by the Royal Air Force. My two favorite parts were a group of fighter jets making a 70 and flying in formation as well as the red, white and blue streaks coming out from jets for the finale. I have attached both pictures to this post as they were incredible.
On Friday we did not participate in many jubilee activities, but on Saturday we attended the Jubilee concert. We were unable to get official tickets to the concert but it was being shown at St. James park, right next to Buckingham palace. We went 4 hours early to go and get a seat to watch the concert. It was an amazing concert with a variety of artists. My personal favorite was Elton John, he wasn’t there in person unfortunately but a pre-recorded video of him was projected onto Buckingham Palace and his singing of “your song” was beautiful. After the performances we go to witness a drone show, dubbed “the fireworks of the future”. I was skeptical at first as I tend to like the big spectacle of fireworks displays, but I have to say I enjoyed the drone light show very much and it was certainly fitting for this event. Overall I had a great week and am looking forward to many more great weeks in London.