The Queen’s Rain


Okay – I just used ye olde ‘popping out for a sandwich’ wheeze because I was jealous of the Twitter posts by @warrenkingphoto and @greenwichcouk and wanted to see some pomp come rain or come shine, mostly rain. If you want photos of the Queen, I suggest you try following those guys; you won’t get any from me. I can confirm she wore a red hat as the woman in front of me told her mate that she did.

Here’s my view:

But actually, you can’t miss the most impressive bit, at the top of this post – the guys on the Cutty Sark’s masts, standing there in the rain waiting for Her Majesty to arrive, then while a (rather beautiful) specially-composed choral/orchestral piece was played (I’d actually like to hear it again some time in the dry when I could properly listen to it; if anyone knows of a YouTube or other recording I’d be keen to know; I’m a big fan of modern choral works) and then continuing to hang around while the Queen was inside the ship.

Here they are again, almost certainly beginning to wish they hadn’t said ‘yes’ in the pub last night:

Take note of the flag btw; it’s all going to change…

I actually, by complete accident (and because I thought I’d better actually come back with said sandwich) was coming out of Rhodes when Her Maj arrived.

But to be honest, that was the closest I ever got. I found myself stuck behind a bunch of furry microphones and butch blokes with giant telephoto lenses and that was that. Still the music was nice. Apparently the Queen received sundry gifts (I refrained from squealing ‘open it, open it’ ), unveiled something and went inside the Cutty Sark.

But hold the virtual press.

As you’ve probably noticed, I’m writing this as I’m downloading photos and weirdly even if I didn’t get any glimpses of her, my camera did. I always thought people holding up cameras and vaguely pointing them in the right direction were wasting their time, but I just tried it and this popped out:

So yeah – I can now confirm she wore a red hat and a red coat. Just call me the Royal Greenwich Phantom Royal Fashion Correspondent.

I turned to go but the chaps up the masts hadn’t finished yet. The Cutty Sark had, for the first time in a very long while (and, I suspect won’t be having for another very long while) the Royal Ensign raised – to show the Queen’s at home:

Here is is, lovingly and expertly photoshopped to show it in all its regal glory:

My sandwich break was getting a bit obvious, so I had to nip back. I am now ‘writing a really important document.’

I am sure Warren and Rob will give you all the gen on the rest of the day.

the attachments to this post:

queen arriving
queen arriving

don't try this at home
don’t try this at home

the queen
the queen

Royal Ensign
Royal Ensign

raising the Royal ensign
raising the Royal ensign

my view
my view

men on masts
men on masts

don't try this at home
don’t try this at home

17 Comments to “The Queen’s Rain”

  1. Capability Bowes says:

    Correct me if I am wrong. isn’t it terribly, terribly unlucky to remove a ship’s figurehead? From all accounts it would seem that “nan” has been removed from the bowsprit and “museum’d” underneath – facing the other way? Is there not even a replica actually attached to the ship?

  2. Benedict says:

    Fabulous! I think Queenies Red Ensemble was a fashion masterstroke in the Royal Greenwich greyness. Obviously the most important bit of news in your post today.

  3. Nelson's Left Eye says:

    I guess the flypast was cancelled. Shame, as it looked pretty impressive during rehearsals yesterday.

  4. Capability – worry not – Nannie’s double is in position on the ship and Nannie-proper is underneath her. I am sure there must be some camera angle that would have them doing a tug o’ war o’er the wisp o’ Tam o’ shanter’s horse’s tail.

  5. Barb says:

    & the really Important document you are writing is the google map I’m checking on my phone ’cause its quicker than the pc’s in our office!

  6. Lara says:

    Hey Phants! Sam and I were just to your left at the front of the barriers. He got a great shot if you want to go see on @samcoles. :-) .

  7. Cor – you got to the front. You must have been really ‘rained over’…

  8. Caz says:

    Nelson’s Left Eye – the flypast yesterday was not a rehearsal, but was to honour our troops who have returned from service in Libya.

    Scared a few people as it wasn’t hugely publicised, and just looked like two low-flying jets being escorted across London!

  9. Sarah Crofts says:

    This was my view from the windows of the Dreadnought Library. Some school children (from St. Alfege’s?) had been there since about 10.30. Once it arrived within the grounds of the Old Royal Naval College, the cavalcade seemed to whiz past at great speed. We could just seen a hand waving at the car window.

  10. Old Witness says:

    Aah. I remember the last time the Queen “opened” the Cutty Sark. My brother and I were some of the primary school children invited to be present. It didn’t rain, but it was quite cold – there was quite a lot of waiting. The presenter announced “The Queen will now declare open the Sutty Cark”. We giggled. Don’t suppose they made that mistake again.

  11. Charlie says:

    Just to say the orchestra was from Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance based in the Old Royal Naval College was made up of around 90 students. The choir that accompanied was made of 400 people – mainly from local schools. The piece was written by a local composer from Greenwich, Errollyn Wallen MBE

  12. Lara says:

    Totally! Wet feet and all! It was worth it though!

  13. Old China says:

    I took the day off. Managed to see quite a bit, the Cutty Sark itself is looking superb imho (I won’t comment on the surrounding eateries and the excessively large lean-to placed next to it).

    Have yet to download the photos though. Apart from the appalling weather it was a great day.

  14. Daisy says:

    Thanks for these pictures nice to know that someone noticed us aloft (we were not all men!) as it was indeed VERY cold and soggy up there, an absolute pleasure to have the opportunity to explore the rig of such an iconic vessel.

    (Foremast lower topsail, inboard starboard side!)

  15. Susie says:

    Hi Phants – thanks for the thumbs up on the music by Errollyn and performed by the Trinity Laban Symphony Orchestra (95 of our finest students). We’re hoping to get a recording mixed shortly and ‘ll make that available as/when I can.
    Best wishes
    Trinity Laban

  16. Vicky says:

    Brilliant photos especially of the rigging team. Any chance of getting a copy? We weren’t allowed cameras up the rigging.

    Thank you


  17. Vicky – if you email me, I’ll happily send you any that I took.