The Queen & Lady Diana

Diary entry June 11th 1981:

‘Went on the train with Sharon this morning, she’s working part time in Selfridges at the make-up counter. She should go back to modelling, surely it’s much better money? Maybe she’s bored of getting her tits out. Anyway, I saw the Queen today as she was officially opening the Nat West Tower. She’s really small – I was quite close and wish i’d had my camera. Dad took me to the top of that last year – he was working on it doing the dry-lining and plastering. It’s my favourite building after the Empire State Building, I think. Me and Robert have been looking at it through my telescope from Pat’s flat in Dagenham whilst it’s being built. Also saw Lady Diana this afternoon, she was at St. Paul’s for a wedding rehearsal or something. She ran from a car straight up the front stairs. She’s really tall and skinny.’

So, it would seem that I was a bit of a royalist back then. I did see several members of the family over the years, whilst working in the heart of the city. There would always be events and functions at places like Ironmonger’s Hall, Draper’s Hall, the Mansion House and the Guidhall. I have to say I was always impressed, despite my reluctance to admit it now. I even went so far as to revel in the huge street party held in London’s Fleet Street the evening before Charles married Lady Diana. It was a great night, spent with Sue, Jenny and the gang. I found it thoroughly exciting watching the fireworks in Hyde Park before making our way towards our spot in Fleet Street, where we camped for the entire night. The atmosphere was incredible – the thunderous roar of the horses pulling the gleaming royal carriages on the way to St. Paul’s at 11.am the next morning is something I will never forget. Jenny and I took a stroll in the wee hours, walking over towards Waterloo Bridge where I took a photo just before dawn that day. Quite incredible to see how the skyline has changed in the last thirty years. No Docklands, no Lloyd’s Building, no Swiss R.E. Tower, as well those which no longer exist: Draper’s Gardens, Barclays 168 Fenchurch Street, the Kleinwort Benson Building, the old Stock Exchange. I remember vividly how it was as I spent several years working in the heart of it as a messenger boy. How times have changed in terms of security – no CCTV back then, very little security around the royal family – I was often quite close with my camera, certainly close enough to have been a threat.

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