Yesterday, the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh came to open the Warwickshire Justice Centre, where I work.
The security was something to behold. The building houses the local police station, so there are always a lot of police around, but this was something else. Sniffer dogs came around the office the day before, there was a marksman on the nearest tall building, we had to show staff passes to get in the building (although we weren’t searched, which is surprising). I tried to post a letter on the morning of the opening and I couldn’t as the slots in the postbox had been sealed! This on postboxes several hundred metres away from the site – although I suppose her car may have gone that way.
Some of my colleagues got to meet the Queen; unfortunately, I didn’t. I was able to watch her arrival by kneeling on a desk and peering through the window and went outside to watch her departure. Staff were able to stand at the front of the building. There was a group of children standing just in front and to my right who were to present the Queen with flowers. I thought I had the perfect spot because she would have been so close I could have practically touched her, but then the organisers moved the children.
I hadn’t brought my camera because of confusing advice about whether or not we were allowed to so I was extremely disappointed to discover that it wasn’t a problem. I managed to get a few shots on my camera phone (once I’d got over the panic of discovering that it wasn’t working and fixed it by deleting some photos to free up memory) but they aren’t much good.
Once the visit was over, we all trooped back inside to bag ourselves some of the cake which we’d been told would be waiting for staff. The one on our floor was eaten already so we had go to the next floor.
All in all it was a good experience, but it made for a very unsettled day!