Aaron Galway is a freelance who specialises in event photography. He writes for Nee Hao about his experiences of capturing the event in London. He set off the day before the wedding to ensure a good spot, but there were plenty of people with the same idea.
Setting off at 1 am
As I was walking down the Queens walk of Green Park towards the Mall, you could sense an eerie feeling of happiness. I walked past the armies of super huge broadcast satellites and trucks, then I stumbled upon the entrance to The Mall, where the sight of hundreds if not thousands of people camped with tents and sleeping bags all along the Mall to the palace.
Down the Mall I saw hundreds of different signs from all over the world such as Chile, Brazil, Argentina, the Philippines, China , Japan, Russia, and the USA were representing, and many more from other countries came to wish William and Kate a happy future together. One lady I met during the day, a 67 year old sign language interpreter from Oregan, USA, travelled on her own to the UK, to see this momentous occasion, when I asked her why, she said, “AND WHY NOT!?”.
As I set up base outside the centres for the world’s media, I noticed a fantastic atmosphere starting to form as the time drew nearer. At 2.30am I started to notice people drinking and toasting the couple to be, of course as a lovable Brit I didn’t refuse the offer for drinks. Yes, that is correct, people were offering random people drinks of alcohol for free to anyone and everyone, the singing was absolutely magical.
The list of costumes and funny gag suits that was worn by a wide range of people was endless. One lady had a tea cosy on her head, one was dressed as St George and also one was dressed as a Comic King with a sign that read “I LOVE YOU KATE”.
As the wedding procession got on the way, the crowd started to wave its flags and a more happy feeling was coming over the area.
When the wedding vow which William and Kate were reading played out on speakers all over central London, the sense of nervousness was felt all over. The silence was remarkable in more ways than one, you could see both the elder and younger generation enjoying as well.
A lot of people was saying that they wouldn’t of come to this wedding if it was say ‘Charles and Camilla’, and that word went around the crowd and a lot of people agreed to this.
Once the vows were made, the couple came back in an open top carriage. Prior to this, I must make a note that the weather was quite cloudy and slightly grey, but as soon as the couple left the abbey, the sun broke and shone upon them for the entire journey back to the palace, a lot of people was saying that spirit of Princess Diana was with the couple for the journey, and this was made more true when the couple went into the palace, and the sun then disappeared.
After the couple went into the palace, the Welsh and Scots guards that lined the entire route from the abbey to the palace, disembarked and returned to the barracks, as well as the House Hold Cavalry. Once the streets outside the palace were clear, it left the time for the crowds that were waiting to fill the streets outside the palace for the balcony scene.
The Police made the crowd wait for near to 15 minutes prior to letting the barriers down, then once they were put down the crowd surged towards the palace like myself. Once there we could see the balcony, and the couple with the family, and the crowd were really agitated that William was being a tease and not giving them the kiss they wanted, he gave a kiss, but on the cheek, this caused an immense boo which rang around the streets of the palace and the sounds of “KISS KISS KISS KISS”, after an awaited anticipation, the couple kissed.
Then out of the blue, the military fly past came. Being in the crowd and part of the excitement of the balcony, no one knew the fly past would be so immense. Out of nowhere 2 Spit Fires and a Lancaster Bomber flew down the Mall and over the palace, the roar of these beautiful crafts was something else. It was then followed by a formation of Tornado Fighter jets.
Once the fly past took place, the newly married couple waved goodbye and entered the palace, later on they would leave the palace in a ‘JUST MARRIED’ Austin Martin and then travel to Clarence House where they was picked up by the Royal helicopter to go to a private location.
FRIDAY APRIL 29TH 2011. AARON A GALWAY photographer/journalist. FOR AND BEHALF OF NEE HAO MAGAZINE