I had been here a few months ago and this time it was totally different. The streets were packed to the point of not being able to walk and the traffic and corresponding fumes were terrible. *** The first stop on the tour bus was Buckingham Palace and the tour guide said that the Queen Mother was celebrating here 101st birthday and would be making an appearance outside the palace at 11:00. It was about 10:50 so the timing was perfect. We hopped off the bus along with 90% of the other people and were thrust into a massive sea of people all heading more or less into the palace area. *** It turns out today was also the first day the palace rooms were open to the public (they do this during August and September) so there was a big line of people waiting for that too. *** We eventually got into the main area about 11:00, found a spot we could see a little bit of the roundabout in front of the palace and waited.
And waited. *** And waited. *** It was almost comical. Here were thousands of people all packed into this little area waiting for something to happen and none of them knew where, when, or if the Queen Mother would actually come out. 11:00 came and went, as did 11:30 and 12:00 and still no Queen Mother.
Fortunately we did get to see the changing of the guard so it was not a total loss.