This is a prompt post on something that happened TODAY!
One of the many parts of my job at A Big Corporation is to get government approvals, which we call apostilles. Today I needed to drop off some documents, so around eleven o’clock I wandered out of my office. I took my routine path to one of many government buildings.
I was a bit surprised at the police presence outside my office, but I didn’t think too much about it. Further on, I found barricades and even more police. That finally triggered my memory: The Queen’s coming today!
Not knowing her schedule, I kept to my routine and walked straight to the usual offices. After dropping off the documents, I headed back to the office.
After passing through Place Clairefontaine, I encountered a wave of excited tourists heading toward the Grand Duke’s Palace. I decided I had a moment to investigate, so I deviated from my well-worn pattern and turned right instead of left. Look at all the photographers — there must be something going on!
In front of the Palace was quite a display of military bands and dignitaries.
I’m still guessing who was whom with the guys in blue versus the green.
The band started playing. Thinking of the Bugle’s readers, I switched to video recording. I believe they were playing the Grand Duke’s anthem.
The Grand Duke and Duchess moved from one beautiful rug to the other beautiful rug. It was odd to see indoor carpets in the public thoroughfare.
The Duke and Duchess seemed in high spirits and they were friendly with the crowd.
Some lucky youngster got to present flowers to the Queen. Meanwhile, some poor military man kept the schedule.
The Queen arrives!
While the Queen and the Duke walked the remainder of the red carpet, the Duchess and the Grand-duc héritier waited one fancy rug behind.
By that time, the crowd had filled the little square in front of the palace.
Three videos in one. (1) Action on the red carpet. (2) Somebody’s national anthem. (3) Getting ready to greet the people.
I think they were listening to their respective national anthems at this point. (Gotta research that one.)
I do love a band.
Patiently waiting on the monarchs.
Apparently, even Luxembourg has Secret Service guys.
The Queen’s fancy ride from the airport.
Glamour shot of Grand Duke Henri and Queen Beatrix.
Heading in, to start the official visit.
The retinue follows.
Then it was over. The photographers rushed away in a pack. Later, Will reminded me that the Queen would lay a wreath at a memorial nearby. These guys were looking from the prime spots.
I feel lucky that my random work-day errand allowed me to see the Queen of the Netherlands!