Photographs of Londoners at the Queen’s Jubilee

By most accounts of the press, the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee boat pageant was a near flawless success, apart from the bit of rain (that may or may not have added to the “British-ness” of the festivities). About a million of us Londoners gathered on the wet pavements along the Thames to watch 1,000 impressive, decorated boats, including the Spirit of Chartwell that carried the Queen down the river just past Tower Bridge which opened ceremoniously as her vessel passed.

We arrived early (or what we thought was early, quite a few hours before the boats were meant to begin their journey down the Thames) but didn’t manage to get a viewing spot, so we settled on people watching whilst we waited and stood near a screen playing back scenes from the Queen’s history on the throne. Eventually, it got too crowded to see the screen and there was definitely no chance of glimpsing the boats, so we walked our wet feet back to the flat and watched the full live BBC coverage with a warm blanket and  a cup of tea. Definitely a wise decision.

Of course, that means no boat pictures but plenty of people (and by the looks of some of their faces, they’d probably have been happier watching it at home on the BBC as well, though I’m sure they cheered up once the excitement kicked off.) By the way people are dressed, you would never guess is it actually June…great fun watching everyone make an effort and get out there despite the weather. Here’s a handful:

Little Britain

Cheer Up!

Wrapped Up in Patriotism

Going to See the Queen

Union Jack Rabbit

Union Jacks for Sale

Lady in Red

Here Comes the Queen

Did you get to see the boats then? If you got any good shots, add them to the Flickr pool, and I will share. Enjoy your second bank holiday if you’re off today! (and enjoy it extra for me because I’m not…)

222 comments on “Photographs of Londoners at the Queen’s Jubilee

  1. Great photos! Thanks for sharing your first-hand account – even though you ended up watching at home. Still, you got to experience the crowd, and that’s a good story to tell on its own. :)

  2. Brilliant!! I love how you’ve captured the ‘grumpy’ side of British Weather which is made even more hilarious by the wall to wall wearing of the Union Jack – very Churchill- very stoic-very British!! Congrats on the freshly pressed – those cobbled streets are actually making me a wee bit homesick as an ex-pat in Oz.

  3. Nice Photos. I am going to be in London the next week. I am so excited. It is going to be my first time in London. Any advise about traditional food that I can taste! :)

    • You’ll find it hard to get traditional British food. I have travelled the world and never seen a traditional British restaurant. It’s all because of our class divided history. If you want British food, and it is great, you basically have to get into a British home with someone who knows how to cook. But its great for foreign food – curries, Chinese, Turkish etc, etc. That what contemporary Britain does best, celebrate all other culture, including the Royal parasites, while berating anything and everything traditionally British.

    • I hope the glorious weather we experienced for the two weeks leading up to the Diamond Jubilee (oops, poor planning there Mr. Weatherman ;)) returns for you Nazario! London in the sunshine is beautiful :) As the other response you received mentioned (though as a negative not as a positive) London’s cuisine is very multi-cultural. It’s one of the things I love about living here.

      Try a well reviewed pub (check online before you go or ask around?) and order from their menu. Fish and Chips will always be on the menu at your local pub but a nice pub’s will be great quality with fresh ingredients. Pork Sausages with Colcannon or Mash was new to me when I got here too.

      Take out wise, I love a good Turkish place. Always order the Shish Kebab not the Donner!! You want the meat that comes on a skewer not the awful stuff they shave off a hunk of mooshed up meat from ;) Garlic sauce and chilli sauce on a Chicken Shish is heaven for me!

      Hope that helps :) Enjoy your visit!

      • Thank you. I am hungry now. I am very exciting about this trip. It is going to be my first time in London and I am very, very Happy Upi! Thank you for your recomendation I will take your advise. I have another question one of my tour I will visit Stonehenge, Chalice Well and Avery and then we are going to stop at The Red Lion Pub. I am a little scared, because the internet said that it is haunted?

          • Thank You. I am really exciting to know your wonderful city. I will remember forever because is going to be my first time in Europe.

      • Oh Thank You for you recomendation. I really appreciate the information. Now I am hungry! I will try the fish and chips mmmh! How about the dessert which is traditional the apple pie? I do many question because I want to eat the traditional cuisine of England. I want to remember forever my trip in your wonderful Country and the cuisine will be always in my mind. :)

      • I agree. London in the sunshine is beautiful. It can be beautiful in the rain as well if you want it to be. And I also agree that London’s wide variety of food from around the world is one of its perks. I love a Sunday stroll through the Sunday Up Market on Brick Lane where you can eat just about anything you like from whichever country you desire.

    • For dessert; Apple Pie, Apple Crumble, Apple and Rhubarb Crumble, Sticky Toffee Pudding, Eton Mess, Treacle Tart, Bakewell Tart, Victoria Sponge (sponge cake with a filling of jam and cream)…and heaps and heaps more. Ask the person serving you what they would recommend (it might be the restaurants speciality) if you’re not sure :) I’m not a fan of bread and butter pudding (bit boring really) but it’s also traditional English. Or try a few different puddings if you can fit it all in….mmm, yummy!

  4. It’s nice to see the great support and celebration for the queen. I’ve been watching a lot of shows about the queen specifically what happened before with the whole royal family and such. All of this is being featured a lot here in the US. Lovely shots by the way. Princess Dianna is smiling from above for sure :)

    • Oh, dear! Have you forgotten how they hated her! It was 5 days before they released a press statement and the Royal family didn’t budge from their holiday home in Balmoral until just before the funeral. And so many of the tributes on flowers condemned the Royals.

      There are plenty of us British people who do not want or need a Royal family. It should become a charity and you can pay for them if you want them! Unfortunately, anti Royal sentiment is generally hidden. It’s called brainwashing!

  5. My neighbors are from England and they decorated the outside of the house with flags and balloons in celebration from afar :) I’m Canadian, my parents said there were quite a few maple leaves in the crowds!

  6. Love these/ Watched the boats from comfort of our Edinburgh sitting room, cucumber sandwiches and some treats from my food blog. I agree that inside was best, especially judging from the candid faces you recorded. Really liked the ouddle one! Congratulations on being Freshly Pressed!

  7. Great photos! I wondered if everyone was as excited as they are shown to be on TV, so I’m glad you got some candid shots. I guess it’s hard to be festive when you’re standing around and waiting for the festivities to start and the weather to clear. But maybe the weather never clears, so you just have to hoist your umbrella and get the party started. Thanks for sharing!

    • Yea, it was a bit strange to see all the long faces, but being there I felt a bit the same. It was before the actual event. Everyone was wet, cold and couldn’t see much just standing around in the crowds before anything really happened. I think they cheered up in the end.

  8. You know what’s funny – everyone is dressed up to celebrate and not even one single smile except for the woman in teh wheel-chair! No offence but their faces are just like the weather in England! :D

    Great costumes, Queen must have felf really amazing to see so many people all dressed up for the occassion. Great pictures ! ;)

    http://www.dressupforme.wordpress.com

    • not exactly there is a close up of a smiling man, the people on the balcony are smiling and so is the girl with the flip video camera
      yours sincerely Jacob Hopkins

      • Oh really! Didn’t notice the smiling man the first time! Hope you are not offended abotu the smiles and English weather, was just joking. England is fantastic :)

        • The english weather is fine trust me we cruse on it as our only excuse for being miserable. but yeah i have said all that i want to say you are right most of the time we are miserable.

    • I think one person that was smiling for sure is the person who took these pictures :) My god what a circus, and then we realize this will be the normal street fashion once the soccer (Euro 2012) starts next week. Great pictures!

  9. I was there for the boat pageant if you look at my blog jacobhopkins.wordpress.com you will see some photos of it they are a bit fuzzy because I used a rather bad ipod camera (my OK camera is Broken), the only major problem was that you had to have tickets to go onto the bridges and anywhere you could get a view of the river the closest i got was a good sight of the screen and a rather small view of the river but i had to sneak there, weird anyway have a look and decide if you want to Reblog it… enjoy
    yours sincerely Jacob Hopkins

  10. We braved the rain and the crowd for a few blurry photo of the boats from a great distance and through a lot of people’s heads ;) We were south of the river, just east of Tower Bridge. I love your pics of all the people standing around waiting for it all to begin! I dare say you managed to see a lot more than us on telly, but I got a kick out of being part of the atmosphere and knowing the Queen was just across the water from me (I think my sopping wet and grumbling kids disagree ;))

    • :) I’m sure the wet and grumbling kids will look back fondly and be glad they could say they were there to experience it. If I would have had far to go to get home, I probably would have stuck around to watch it all but a warm blanket and cup of tea were way too tempting when they were just a quick 10 minute walk away so the telly won in the end! To be honest, I was more interested in the crowd anyway. Though I probably would have seen more smiles if I would have stayed.

  11. How lovely. I want those Union Jack wellies! I was so glad to be able to catch a bit of the jubilee on tv in my hotel. It made me feel at home (I’ve been traveling for a while.). Thanks so much for sharing these. :-)

    • Of course, it’s an expensive, dirty, violent, country with the highest rates of teen pregnancy in Europe and one of the highest rates of teen sexual diseases! Not much to celebrate being British and you’re not encouraged to. In the UK PC dictates you celebrate all other cultures except that of being British unless it masquerades as a Royal event. Britain is a sad country to live in and the community fostered by Royal decrees and football-mania are short-lived.

      • That’s all a big downer really, don’t you think? If you’ve got gripes, I’m glad you’ve had a chance to vent them. Every place in the world has its ups and downs. I enjoy London quite a lot and I think there are a lot of positives about living here to counteract those things you’ve mentioned. I have a feeling there’s quite a few people who would agree with me. It can be an expensive place, yes, but there is a lot going on for free as well and if you know where to go, you can avoid the tourist prices. Dirty is a big generalisation. There are lovely clean areas all over the place and the streets generally are well looked after I think. It’s a massive city teeming with life so of course it’s not as pristine as some smaller places you could choose to live. Violent? Sure, pick some examples. There are plenty. Of course there are in a big city. Personally, after 5 years here, I have never once been a victim of violence. I have never felt unsafe. This blog is about little observations of life in London. It’s simply meant to show the city from a different prospective. Whether it is a good or bad place to be is, in terms of my objectives, pretty much irrelevant.

  12. Great photos , but so glad I was out of the country for this event. Pity we Brits only provide a sense of community when it is sanctioned by the State or football. That the Royals, actually the House of Sax-Coburg-Gotha, (House of Hanover, Germany), have been so successful implanting themselves into the fabric of British society, changing their name to Windsor, wearing kilts and tartans, inventing their own dialect and basically hiding their origins is testament to the gullibility of a nation. And of course, Phillip is from the House of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg but adopted the name Mounbatten (formerly from the German family Battenberg – after which the cake is named). By the way, I have no problems with a German royal family except when we pretend they are English/British.

    Britain is an expensive, dirty, violent, country, deeply class divided and with the highest teen pregnancy rate in Europe and one of the highest rates of teen sexual diseases in the world. Unless you live in one of the bigger cities, access to culture is poor. The depths to which this formerly great nation has sunk, and the fact we constantly claim to be a democracy, is aptly masked by our slavish worship of the Royals – among other things.

    I also find it highly distasteful that you can celebrate monarchy while the celebration of Britishness is deemed un-PC, and associated with imperialism, nationalism and worse, the British National Party. Ironically, the Royals epitomise the snobbery, class division, white only attitude, that the PC mantra so regularly condemn.

    Remember the hostility to the Royals after the death of Diana! The Jubilee…an excellent example of how ‘citizens’ can be brainwashed and manipulated…

    • “Britain is an expensive, dirty, violent, country,”

      It isn’t as it happens but if it makes you happy to believe that then carry on.

      • According to a report by several English universities – up to 40% of British people have faecal matter on their hands (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/7667499.stm). I won’t go on about the violence. I taught in English schools for 15 years and kids in S Korea are shocked when I tell them we’ve had a headteacher stabbed to death and numerous other teachers assaulted. Not to mention the incident last year where a British school boy put his genetalia in a teachers coffee cup and then posted it on the internet.

        Teenagers pregnancy highest in Europe and sexual diseases rife among teenagers. It’s well documented. As for the drunkenness and violence,you have clearly never lived abroad and if you have you must have been blinkered. Kids can walk in many parts of the world late at night but in the UK that is something I do not do and I am ex-military, 6.6 tall and with extensive training in martial arts. Most towns in the UK are no go areas for descent people at night and again, this is well documented.

      • “Most towns in the UK are no go areas for descent (sic) people at night and again, this is well documented”

        Again, if this is what you believe carry on. Just because it is factually incorrect will make no difference to you I imagine.

      • Well, I doubt you live in the nasty areas. I’d like to see you walk through Peckham at 11 pm and not feel unsafe. And if you don’t think it’s expensive you’re clearly well off.

        Let’s see: London riots, less than 10 months ago? Hordes of yobs ripping the place up. But you probably don’t live near the areas they trashed. And the simmering anger of those people, waiting for the next chance to erupt, probably aren’t a real threat to you.

        And by dirty, I mean morally. We are quite a degenerate nation – like we really do have the highest rates of teen pregnancy in the UK, among the highest rates of teen sexual diseases and the highest consumption of teen alcoholism in Europe. Why are you trying to deny this – there is plenty of statistical evidence for such examples. Thongs for six year olds with a cherry on the front and the caption ‘eat me! Sold by Argos and challenged by Childline! Thongs sold in M and S for 7 year olds marketed under the name ‘My Little Angel.’ I’m sorry, but in S Korea where I teach such products would be deemed perverse and shocking.

        And don’t get me going about sexual mores, I worked for five years in the area of sexual health in schools and was appalled by some of the attitudes. Kids being able to get contraceptives and have sex without their parents knowing. kids as young as 13 being told that it’s illegal for them to have sex, but wink, wink, nudge nudge, we all know you do it! And then telling them where to get free condoms – should they break the law (giggle, giggle).

        Metal detectors in school entrances (Jaywick, Clacton).
        Kevlar padded school uniforms to protect kids from knife attacks – introduced in Aug 2007.

        I guess we live or have experience of the different faces of the UK. Yes, there are some great places to live in the UK – but generally you pay for the privilege.

        So are all these experiences something I’ve invented?

        • I have spent plenty of time in the ‘nasty areas’ as you call them. I don’t live in a posh area and no, I’m not rich by any means. I have simply taken the time to explore this city enough so that I know where to go to enjoy it without dropping loads of cash. I’m not going to argue with you regarding any facts about this city/country. That’s not what my blog is about. My blog is about exactly what you fail to do – which is, despite any negativity, learn to appreciate the little things. I don’t know why you feel the need to vent so vehemently about the UK or how a few photos prompted you to vomit out a slew of negative thoughts. I think it was the best thing in the world for you that you decided to move to Korea. Must be the perfect place. Perhaps one day I will visit. But for now, I’m content in London. There’s a lot to say about attitude, how you approach life, in the way you perceive a place. Try to be a bit more optimistic about life. You’ll probably cheer up.

      • “I guess we live or have experience of the different faces of the UK. ”

        How true.
        Perhaps then you will refrain from tarnishing a whole nation with your prejudice and incorect assumptions.

      • Yes, you’re probably right. But I would like a better country and cannot help thinking that whatever country you live in and under whatever regime, the critic is always lambasted as having a chip on their shoulder or for not being more optimistic. There was a 19th century definition of ‘patriotism’ that include the criticism of your country – sort of in the hope it could do better. That definition has been usurped and currently lable you unpatriotic – which I am not. Perhaps you need to see my comments as being the product of someone who actually yearns for a Britain that seems to have died.

        Anyway best wishes

        • I just find them a constant source of parody which helps when I’m blogging, I need the Queen so I can depict her with her knickers round her ankles So my love for them is for purely selfish reasons. That’s not for this persons comments though

    • Didn’t you say you lived there? If you hate it so much, move. The whole country probably talks trash aout you, like you are about them. What you choose to focus on will determine a lot of things. Sounds like you are obsessed with all the bad stuff, but that stuff is everywhere. So is the good stuff. It is what you choose to focus your time and attention on that matters.

      • Yes, I moved out of Britain 5 years ago. But it is still my homeland and it is sad to see it so rotten and degenerate. I wasn’t obsessed with the bad stuff- it actually impacted on my life. While many British people are decent and caring an awful lot are scum and retard the quality of life for the rest of us. Things like shooting cygnets in the park, trashing graveyards, raping old women – some appalling behaviour is tolerated and excused by British people and their toleration simply adds to the decline.

        • A lot of people everywhere are scum. I guess the generalization is what’s bothering me. All of the horrible things you mentioned, and worse stuff can be found anywhere. There are a lot of messed up people in this world, but I think the majority wants to do and support the right thing.

    • Geez, what a depressing, hateful person you are. I lived in England 3.5 years when my dad was in the USAF, and I love England. There are many wonderful things about Great Britain–if you don’t go around with an enormous chip on your shoulder. You must be a real drag to be around.

      • If your daughter was a boozing slag spawning illigitimates why would you be a hateful, depressing, person with a chip on their shoulder to tell her to ‘buck up! and act better! Surely that’s the responsible thing to do! And as a ‘citizen’ of the UK, and someone who actually yearns for my country, I feel compelled to fight for a better Britain. We Brits are great at waging wars ‘away’ but spineless when one is on our doorstep.

        Of course, there are lots of wonderful things about the UK but it doesn’t really matter how beautiful your daughter is if she’s riddled with multiple poxes. If the only thing we must be proud about is monarchy – and the rest must be left to fall – thats a pretty sad state of affairs for the remaining 360 days of the year.

        Too many British people tolerate and defend the degenerate mess we are in and are in part the cause of Broken Britain.

        Yea, you’re dad was in the USAF so he was probably in some leafy green area. Those are lovely areas. I doubt he was in a grotty place with high crime rates, violence, and a multitude of other social problems and where the PC mantra marks any celebration of British or Englishness as rascist.

      • I’m not going to delete your comments, but knock it off with the negativity, pretty please because it’s an ugly thing to splash all over a place that’s dedicated to appreciating the little things in life. There are other websites and forums dedicated to grumbling, to British politics, to debates. You’re talking about what a horrible place London is… well, slagging people off probably isnt the best way to improve anything. Anywhere. For anyone.

    • “I do not do and I am ex-military, 6.6 tall and with extensive training in martial arts.”

      I’m 5.5 tall with no martial arts training and I do go out at night. I don’t find London to be particularly unsafe at night if you use common sense.

      Anyway, I’m glad you’re getting a chance to vent it all out.

  13. Excellent post. This is really a good work. I appreciate your efforts behind that.
    Thanks for sharing!

  14. Great pics on a great day but why do so many people look not so happy? lol

  15. These are great photos of a small part of the world we all live in. No matter where we live, there is diversity. It will always be that way. So, it behooves us to make our little part of this world one person better by the way we live — in faith, hope and love. However flawed our world is, we need to look forward to the reality of eternity, and how we should live according to that.

    Thank you for sharing these great photos.

  16. Gee, aren’t there any PRETTY British women? I didn’t see a single pic of one here. Disappointing. Seems I saw only frumpy-dressed folks. Not many were smiling, either. LOL! Gee. A few looked happy. I lived in England for 3 1/2 years when my dad was there with the U.S.A.F. from 1960-1963. I love England & wish I could go back for an extended visit. I even got to see the Queen up close when I was there. I posted a story about it on MY blog: http://absolutelymindboggling.wordpress.com

    Thanks for this post, though. Wish I could have been there.

    • No pretty British women? Can’t you think of one example, Thom? :) Maybe they are prettier when smiling. Thanks for the blog link. I’ll check it out. It was definitely an experience to be there to see it in person. Great time to be in London right now!

  17. Wow! Y’all are some spirited folks. Crazy costumes, great times! I wish I could hear your accent through my computer screen. LOL. Why isn’t anyone smiling?

    • Lots of smiles around us in our part of the crowd but I guess after standing around for many, many hours smiles started to waver. Once the flotilla arrived though it was cheers, smiles, singing and flag waving galore :) It was an awesome experience once it all began but I’m guessing at the point these photos were taken everyone was feeling a little tired and a tad damp with a few more hours left to wait.

      • Yup, everything was a bit slow at the point these photos were taken. Things were a few hours from starting and everyone was a bit miserable from having waited around for ages. Cold and wet! Glad to hear you saw some cheerful people :) Thanks for stopping by to comment!

  18. I missed nearly all of the celebrations because I had to work throughout the Bank Holiday Weekend. :(
    But I still managed to get into the spirit of things; I’m a sucker for the Royal Family these days, and I hate to go all mushy and patriotic, but the weekend’s celebrations did make me just a tiny bit proud to be a Brit. :)

    Rae

  19. the monarchs are still parasites, living off the backs of the tax payers. they live off usury upon the money and live off land rents. they attend secret meetings like bilderberg to plot against humanity like cockroaches in the shadows. there are still many brits who are so full of themselves, they do not realize how infinitely stupid they are, loving their own enslavement and worshiping those who enslave them and who look down upon them.

    • Haha, to me the people are usually more amusing than the main attraction. I actually wanted to go down specifically to see the crowds. Didn’t care much about the boats which is why I didn’t mind going home to watch them comfortably on the BBC once I got my photos. :)

  20. Very nice shots . Really captured the moment. Nice to get out and celebrate with ordinary folk no matter what you think or believe.

    • I completely agree with you on that. I know a lot of people are debating the relevance of the royals, but really I think most people went out there just to see what it was all about and enjoy a bit of community fun. Thanks about the photos.

  21. Fabulous photos! It wouldn’t be a British celebration if everyone looked too happy, I think us Brits love to be a bit grumpy and moan about the weather!! It’s what unites us all (apart from the Queen, obviously :P)! Great to see everyone so dressed up as well.

  22. Commoners these days are a lot more colorful than the ones depicted on series and movies from the Middle Ages to Elizabethan times. :-)
    Great photos, thanks for sharing!

  23. I think the photos are great. Anyone who knows anyone from the UK will know they show emotions very different then others. They are kind and humble people. Every nations has its worst areas and people to match.Being an American and watching our country take a huge dive in the last years makes me be thankful for what we DO HAVE in America. No place is perfect, we are far from perfect. However you can walk around being negative all your life or choose to be better and do better.

  24. Personally I love being British most of the time! There are of course some negatives – there are in every country. I think it is also really important not to muddle up ‘Britain’ with ‘London’. Some people saying Britain is over-crowded and dirty are clearly talking about the cities rather than rural or seaside Britain. We have some stunning and unspoilt scenery across the UK (Lake District, Cornish coastline, Welsh valleys, Peak District, North York moors but to name a few!). I live in the South-East, probably the most crowded part of the UK but even then I am not sure I agree with the comments about it being dirty. Sure the UK is overpriced and in a recession there is a lot of stress for many people but we are also fortunate to be born into a country where we can access health care and education easily and where we can make choices about our future. I visit countries for work where people are born into poverty with little choice even over what they can eat each day. I am not a royalist but appreciate that the Queen has done what she can within the role she was born into for our country over 60 years – an amazing level of service. I say to anyone thinking of coming to the UK – do it! See London, but try and go outside of the capital as well. Thanks for a good photo essay and for hosting this animated discussion.

  25. …Would just add to that (in response to some of the other comments), I would have a massive issue with the Queen reigning for 60 years if she held any real political power but as she doesn’t I do not think you can really compare her reign with the situation in Zimbabwe!!

  26. The Londoners in your photos deserve the Quirky Award, if there was one. Gone is that ugly stiff upper lip. Enjoy seeing this more playful side of England.

  27. Pingback: Portraits of Londoners by Fish & Chic | Little London Observationist

  28. Pingback: …And a Happy New Year! | Little London Observationist

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