Okay, so that title isn’t really true. I didn’t get a chance to live the royal life today, but I did get a glimpse at it!
This morning, Sarah and I went to Buckingham Palace to see the Changing of the Guards. We got there 15 minutes before the ceremony started, which apparently is not nearly early enough. Huge crowds surrounded the gates way before we got there, and we couldn’t get a good view of the guards until the ceremony started drawing to a close, and people began to leave.
I could not quite make out everything the guards were doing, but I did get to stare at the backs of their heads and admire their intricate red uniforms. The marching band played everything from traditional music to a song from a 90s pop group, which added even more character to the already unforgettable event.
Regardless of the view, it was so humbling to stand at the gates of the Palace. We were in the presence of one of the most historically and politically significant buildings in the world and got to stand outside to watch an official ceremony take place there (even if it does happen every day). Pretty freaking awesome.
Next, we headed to the Phoenix Theatre in Lester Square to see Once the Musical, Sarah’s favorite musical and the origin of the recently-made-popular song “Falling Slowly” (which even won the Oscar for best original song in 2007). We had ordered cheap tickets in advance and were beyond pleasantly surprised when we went to pick up our tickets and were told our seats were upgraded to a few rows behind the front row. We have been so fortunate this trip!
Before the show started, we got to grab drink and go on stage with some of the actors/musicians who were having a folky jam sesh. We didn’t interact with them at all, but just standing so close to them on the stage was awesome!
The musical was absolutely brilliant. It’s a tear-jerking love story between an Irish man and a Czech woman who meet in Dublin and make incredible music together but have to face the reality that they can’t be together. The folk music was beautiful and heartfelt, the acting was fantastic, and the plot was intense and authentic. I cried three times.
Afterwards, we collected ourselves and headed to The Nags Head pub for my first meal of fish and chips (yum!) and then ran a couple errands around town before heading back to the flat in Wimbledon.
So, another unbelievable day has passed by and I have to say again how grateful I am to be here. It’s incredible. And tomorrow we’re off to Dublin!