And then SHE came along.....the lovely Lady Diana. I think it can be convincly said that she changed our world - or at least she did mine. I immediately got the haircut. I pored over every photograph, collected every magazine in which she graced the cover, and of course joyfully jumped out of the bed at the crack of dawn on July 29th, 1981 to 'be there' for her special day. Sitting in my living room, eyes glued to the television set, I had no idea that soon I'd be making a move across the 'pond' and not only would I live less than 90 miles from her, but I'd even get to SEE her.
Adjusting to a new country and a new way of life can always be a bit difficult and some of that difficulty I have to say we brought on ourselves. Jay was in the Air Force and when he got his orders I knew right away that I did NOT want to live on base. No way. I wanted to be in the middle of all things British - and that's exactly what we did. I adapted to British customs, British food and made friends with the locals. We were newlyweds and all we could afford was a one-room flat over a hardware store in the small village of Ramsey. We lived there happily for a quite a while, and it wasn't until I was expecting Rachael that we decided to move into a house.
One weekend we took a break from 'setting up house' and took the train into London for Queen Elizabeth's annual birthday parade. My excitement over a possible Diana sighting was thwarted however when the news reported that due to the hot weather, Diana, who at the time was also pregnant (with Harry) would not be riding. Jay asked me if I still wanted to go. Sure. Why not? It's still not ever day that you get to see the Queen ride through the streets on a horse.
So we went.
We took a few snapshots of Buckingham Palace, then walked around London before claiming our spot to watch the parade. Please keep in mind two things. Number one - this was back in 1984 so these pictures aren't the best in the world, and number two - I was 7 and 1/2 months pregnant. It was unusally hot that summer - England isn't known for it's warm temperatures to begin with and this particular summer animals in the zoo were dying due to the unusually extreme temperatures. So, I was hot, tired and grumpy. And ready to go home. But still...I lingered. Smart decision. As the parade starts there is murmuring in the crowd...then excitement fills the air and trickles down the line like a small tidal wave as the news leaks out that Diana WILL be there after all.
But first....we have to wait as other members of the Royal Family are paraded through. The photo below is of the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester. The Duchess is the Queens first cousin and is the 26th in line for the throne.
And finally...here she is, Diana riding with the Queen Mother. The picture, I know is awful, but in real life she was very close. Since I was pregnant people were nice enough to let me stand in the front near the street, and when Princess Diana's carriage went by I got a PERFECT view of her. She faced our side of the street as she waved!!