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We went bearing passports and luggage that had to pass muster with the TSA (no small feat), finally crossing over the big pond just to see the queen and her new great-grandchild.
All that effort, and still no baby.
To kill time on my first international trip, and since I couldn’t sleep, I watched movies and the GPS tracking our route on the overnight transatlantic flight on a screen built into the seat of the plane passenger in front of me.
After touching down at Heathrow, the third largest airport in the world behind Atlanta and Beijing, it was too early to check into our London hotel.
So “me mum,” sis and I boarded a double-decker London tour bus to see Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, the Tower of London and Buckingham Palace, still hoping to catch a glimpse of Queen Elizabeth, William or Kate with the royal baby bump—or maybe pushing the baby in a fancy royal carriage. Nada.
At this point, we would’ve even settled for Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall, but they must’ve been busy having tea. There was nary a sighting of even Prince Harry showing his “arse,” as they aptly put it in Brit-speak.
We would’ve taken in the London Bridge, too, but my sister told me it’s in Arizona now. (I always thought that was a joke, but obviously the joke was on me.)
But we did encounter royal guards with their royal bearskin helmets, royal Beefeaters in their black-and-red regalia, and more than a few feisty cabbies who definitely know their way around London (which is a good thing).
We took the London tube numerous times, too. In case you don’t know, that’s the British term for subway, and it’s the best and cheapest way to get around the big British city.
Much more was in store to kill time as we awaited this baby—a Mozart and Handel concert at St. Martin’s-in-the-Fields on Saturday night, a huge choir concert at Royal Albert Hall on Sunday night, a trip to Harrods, London’s exclusive department store, on Monday.
We would’ve bought baby gifts, but weren’t sure whether to get pink or blue.
By week’s end, we had scoured London-town’s pubs (for fish and chips and Irish cider), taken in “Spamalot” and “The Woman in Black” on the West End, and even caught a train trip to Windsor Palace, where Queen Elizabeth arrived the next day with King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands and his wife Queen Maxima in tow.
But still no baby.
We were eventually forced to re-board at Heathrow, endure security that dissected my 85-year-old mother’s cosmetics travel case, and fly back to the States.
That royal baby sure is taking its time about getting here. The latest news flash from Camilla is the royal prince or princess is due to debut in London by the end of this week.
I’ll believe it when I see it.
Laura Lewis is a staff writer at the Beacon. Reach her at 754-6890 or email@example.com.