In 2000 I was one of the lucky school students to cram the steps of the Sydney Opera House to watch a ceremony welcoming Queen Elizabeth II to Sydney on a royal visit. It was my first taste of a royal occasion and it was unforgettable so in early June when I had the chance to be in London for the central weekend of Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee I naturally made the most of the opportunity to soak up the atmosphere once again.
Coming all the way from Australia, and with another two months of travelling following my time in London, I had to work out a kit that was not too big or heavy, that would cover all bases and most importantly I needed weatherproofing. The kit would also need it pack in to my Think Tank Airport International Roller for all my flights and to cart around the streets of London.
I originally wanted to use the Canon 5D MkIII, however a lack of weather sealing ruled it out in favour of the 1D MkIV; one with a 16-35mm and the other with a 70-200mm and a rented 400mm f2.8 IS L for a few photos of the main attraction, Queen Elizabeth II.
With the pomp and pageantry of a royal event, especially one of this scale, it is hard for even the most die hard republican not to get excited, drape themselves in a union jack flag and sing God Save The Queen. It was absolutely fantastic to see London showing its true colours, flags adorning every building and cardboard cut outs of the royal families in many shop fronts, not to mention the myriad of souvenirs available for purchase!
As I look back on it covering the jubilee weekend in many ways mirrored my first royal experience 12 years ago; it was raining, it was crowded, it involved a lot of standing around waiting and I only caught a fleeting glimpse of the queen; however both were remarkably unforgettable experiences.