I was walking in an English town today, wearing jeans and a red hoodie and carrying a very large cup of Starbucks coffee (i.e. looking as much the hapless American as is humanly possible) when I saw something up ahead. A police motorcycle, blue lights flashing, was waiting in a zebra crossing. I looked up the road and saw more blue flashing lights. Several more police. They started moving towards me. Then a fancy black car. Funny, it had a flag on top. I peered in the large car window (not even frosted–perfectly clear) and saw an elderly couple sitting there in the back seat. She had on quite the outfit, a peach hat and matching jacket. No, it couldn’t be… yes, yes it was.
I had accidentally stumbled on the Queen’s motorcade.
A few more cars, a few police, and it was over. And I was shellshocked. I had a stupid grin on my face for at least the next five minutes. The locals I spoke to later in the day were impressed, none of them had seen her in person before. (Contrary to popular belief, not all Brits actually know the royal family.) And yet there I was, minding my own business, walking down a random street being all American, blissfully ignorant of what the royals were up to. (I now know that there’s a website where you can find out where they are and what they’re doing.)
Of course, when I emailed my sister with the “you won’t believe what I just saw” news, her retort was almost as incredible:
I ran afoul of Obama’s motorcade in Seoul today. Good day for us.