Our fourth day in London and today we were greeted by Queen Elizabeth II, with her husband Prince Phillip and their sons Prince Edward and Prince Andrew and grandson Prince William at Buckingham Palace.
Kelley is over the moon with Royal sightings in London.
Today, July 10, 2015, is the 75th anniversary of the beginning of the Battle of Britain, when 120 German bombers attacked British ships in the English Channel.
What General Weygand has called The Battle of France is over. The battle of Britain is about to begin. Upon this battle depends the survival of Christian civilisation. Upon it depends our own British life and the long continuity of our institutions and our Empire. The whole fury and might of the enemy must very soon be turned on us. Hitler knows that he will have to break us in this island or lose the war. If we can stand up to him, all Europe may be free and the life of the world may move forward into broad, sunlit uplands. But if we fail, then the whole world, including the United States, including all that we have known and cared for, will sink into the abyss of a new Dark Age made more sinister, and perhaps more protracted, by the lights of a perverted science. Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duties, and so bear ourselves that, if the British Empire and its Commonwealth last for a thousand years, men will still say, “This was their finest hour”
Winston Churchill – June 16, 1940 speech to House of Commons
Something Happened on our way to the Royal Mews
Kelley and I were on our way to see the Royal Mews, the stables for the Royal horses on the west side of Buckingham Palace. We were amazed by the crowd of people walking through Green Park, and I said to Kelley, “This is typical summertime in London with tourists going to Buckingham Palace.”
I was right that people were going to Buckingham Palace, but it was not normal summer tourist traffic. The ITV news truck indicated something special was happening at the Palace.
We saw crowds of people surrounding Victoria Monument and police restricting traffic around the Victoria Monument. Red drapery hung over the balcony of Buckingham Palace.
I asked a gardener standing under a large shade tree what was happening? He replied, “This is the 75th anniversary of The Battle of Britain and there will be a World War Two airplane flyover.”
We found a place to stand by the gardens where nobody could be in front of us for my photo shots. Street traffic had already been shut down and pedestrian traffic was also blocked from crossing streets, so no getting closer to Buckingham Palace for sighting Royals.
RAF WWII Spitfires and Hurricanes flew over Buckingham Palace. We watched the news on UK TV a few minutes ago and Royals were smiling.
The gratitude of every home in our Island, in our Empire, and indeed throughout the world, except in the abodes of the guilty, goes out to the British airmen who, undaunted by odds, unwearied in their constant challenge and mortal danger, are turning the tide of the World War by their prowess and by their devotion. Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few. All hearts go out to the fighter pilots, whose brilliant actions we see with our own eyes day after day, but we must never forget that all the time, night after night, month after month, our bomber squadrons travel far into Germany, find their targets in the darkness by the highest navigational skill, aim their attacks, often under the heaviest fire, often with serious loss, with deliberate, careful discrimination, and inflict shattering blows upon the whole of the technical and war-making structure of the Nazi power. On no part of the Royal Air Force does the weight of the war fall more heavily than on the daylight bombers who will play an invaluable part in the case of invasion and whose unflinching zeal it has been necessary in the meanwhile on numerous occasions to restrain…
Winston Churchill – August 20, 1940 speech to House of Commons
Queen Elizabeth II participated in World War II.
She drove a truck during World War II.
After months of begging her father to let his heir pitch in, Elizabeth—then an 18-year-old princess—joined the Women’s Auxiliary Territorial Service during World War II. Known as Second Subaltern Elizabeth Windsor, she donned a pair of coveralls and trained in London as a mechanic and military truck driver. The queen remains the only female member of the royal family to have entered the armed forces and is the only living head of state who served in World War II.
The flyover also included one WWII aircraft followed by a modern RAF Typhoon aircraft.
Our view of Buckingham Palace was obscured by a lamp post blocking our view of the Queen. I moved around until I could find a spot for a view of the entire Royal Crew.
The crowd cheered when Queen Elizabeth II raised her hand in a Royal Wave.
The start of the Battle of Britain is marked on July 10, 1940 when Germans attacked British ships in the English Channel. The air battle waged on into October 1940, at which time, the Germans retreated on their air attacks.
The Battle of Britain in the summer of 1940 was considered the first military defeat of the Germans in the war.
Queen Victoria Monument
What a fortuitous day’s outing for Royal sightings!
After seeing the Queen, we continued on our journey to the Royal Mews, a place where we had closer access to Royals like Storm, a Windsor Grey.