April 5, 2012

2 Queen Elizabeth II in York for Maundy Thursday

 Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II was in York today for the Maundy Thursday Service, held at York Minster.  This service occurs every year (although not at York Minster since 1972), but this year's was much larger than usual due to the Queen's Diamond Jubilee and York's 800 Years celebration.  I decided to brave the crowds and headed over for my second Royal encounter.

I took the train in order to avoid traffic and park and ride delays, and as I headed to Micklegate Bar I walked down Queen Street.  It seemed a fitting start for the day!

 Micklegate Bar, where the Queen would enter the city.  When she visits, she has to be invited in by the Lord Mayor, and has to walk through the Bar.  

 This is just through the Bar- note how empty the sidewalks are at 9 AM... 

 I decided to walk over to the Minster to check out the crowds there, and crowds there were, all before 10 AM!

 In order to attend the service (unless you were an invitee, of course), members of York diocese had to write a letter expressing interest and mail it in in February.  These letters were entered into a lottery.  These women were in line to go through security.

 The yeomen, all decked out in their finery!

 The line of people going into the service.

 Crowds outside the Minster

 Yeomen on the move!

 Around 10 AM I headed back to Micklegate Bar- with the Queen due to arrive around 10:45, the crowds had already filled in!

 Yeah, I really should have just claimed a spot and stayed there.

 This woman was on a magistrate's court, or council, or something.  She was involved throughout the day.

 A group of re-enacters dressed as citizens of York in 1212- when the city was made Independent by King John, meaning it collected its own taxes.  That date is the 800 Years celebration.

 That's a good sign!

 There's the Queen!  Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, and Princess Beatrice were along for the day.

 Just to show you, I was holding my camera above the crowd, set on high-speed continuous shooting, with a center point-focus select and a balance between depth of field and shutter speed I was happy with for the area.  I'd done some test shots this way before the Queen's arrival, knowing I wouldn't have time to select each image's settings, and definitely wouldn't have space to shoot comfortably!    Most of my images are similar to this one, some more crooked, so I took some editing liberties (that I don't normally do!) with cropping and exposure adjustments, since the crop took out a lot of the light in the image.  The image immediately above and below this one are the highly edited ones. 

 The city wall was closed to visitors this morning and had police crawling all over it!

 If you look closely you can see Queen Elizabeth on the other side of Prince Philip.  

 The York Re-enactors.

 Next I headed to Mansion House, the home of the Lord Mayor of York during the term of service.  The Queen was scheduled to have a luncheon there at 1 PM.

 I found a spot directly behind the press section- it seemed like a good spot, despite the 10 or so press in there.  That all changed about 30 minutes before the Queen's arrival, when about 15 more press guys with step-stools came running over from the Minster.  BOO.  
I think press should be BEHIND the crowds, on a platform.  That way the public can still have viewing space, and they can have their platform/step stools/four cameras each with gigantic lenses despite them being 10 feet from the Queen. rant over

 Theeeeeeeeeere are the Windsors!

 When the Queen entered Mansion House the flag was immediately changed to the Royal Standard.

The Queen and her entourage (and the crowds) were headed to York Museum after her luncheon, but I tapped out.  I was tired, both from the already long day (at 2 PM), speed-walking around York, crowd maneuvering, etc.  I headed back to the train station and nearly fell asleep on the ride home.  Luckily I didn't, because the woman in front of me attended the service, and let me photograph her program!  

Then I got home, did fall asleep for a 2.5 hour nap, and here we are. 
Happy Maundy Thursday!


  1. Stuff like this just doesn't happen in America. Jealous. :)

  2. Your pics are fabulous as always. We thought about going, but ultimatelyl - I abhor crowds. Thanks for letting us live vicariously!


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