A Memorable Day – Holyrood Palace – 3 July 2012

Posted by on Jul 24, 2012 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on A Memorable Day – Holyrood Palace – 3 July 2012

I didn’t feel conspicuous in my fancy clothes and feather hat as we walked from Waverly Station to the gates of Hollyrood Palace because there were so many others doing the same thing.  The air was full of excitement and anticipation as we ladies admired each other’s costumes and the men tagged along.

The queues at the gates were long and slow – 8,000 of us had to be security checked before admission to the palace grounds.  We walked around for a bit and stood for a bit then walked some more.  There was a brass band playing music – their brass buttons gleamed against the bright red uniforms.  There was a host of archers marched bye – they were very formally dressed in uniform also and their faces looked unblinkingly straight ahead. There was lots of formality and everything was organised to perfection.  The afternoon tea was laid out in symmetrical pattern – lovely to behold – very dainty and petite things like mini Victoria sponge or little caramel éclairs; smoked salmon rounds as well as an assortment of very appetising little sandwiches , some cut into triangles, some oblongs and squares and not a crust in site – there was no limit to the number of times you could partake of afternoon tea which some folk appeared to take advantage of.

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh made their grand entrance or should I say exit from the Palace at 4p.m. to rapturous applause and the band played “God saved the Queen”.  By this time everyone had been encouraged to form in lines which needed to be several people deep to accommodate the huge crowd. The Queen went down one line while the Duke went down the other. They were introduced to some people on the way and had a chat. Scotland’s First Minister, Alex Salmond, walked behind the queen and lots of people were trying to shake his hand.

The weather was humidly warm and the sun shone some of the time.  My husband would have liked to have taken his jacket off or at least loosened his tie but he didn’t feel it would be right.  My feet were killing me – continual rain for the previous 6 days had made the ground very soft and my high heels were sinking into the ground all the way.  The vast majority of women had to stand/walk on their toes and that becomes quite uncomfortable after a few hours.  One of my memories from the day is the sight of droves of very smartly dressed ladies coming up the Royal Mile in their stocking soles carrying their shoes in their hand if they didn’t fit in the handbag. (I was one of them) We didn’t really care as we had all had the most wonderful day.

The day I attended the Queen’s Garden Party at Hollyrood Palace will always be a very special occasion in my book of memories.

Written by Catherine Markey, Home Manager



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