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Proximity to the Queen

What's the closest you've been to Her Majesty, for how long, and where?

Me, 40 ft, 5 minutes, Queenstown NZ (she was "planting" a tree)

Posted by
28145 posts

20 or 30 feet, the door to Westminster Abbey, with the Queen Mother and other Royals (but I don't think Prince Charles or the Duke of Edinburgh), a few minutes for them all to arrive by car, get out, gather up and walk around into the Abbey, quite a few years ago - pure chance.

Posted by
7719 posts

Me, maybe 10 or 12 feet (I'm horrible at estimating distances) on the sidewalk in Paris as she drove by on her way to an event at the British Embassy. (Whatever the distance is between someone on the sidewalk and someone in an armored Bentley driving down the middle of the street.) I didn't know she would be driving by where I was, but thought the surprise was fun! She looked just like herself.

How long? About one second.

Posted by
3374 posts

Well over 30 years ago. About 3 feet. In Canada. HM was presenting the Squadron colours to my husband's Squadron. She did a brief walkabout afterwards, and I was one of the guests in the front. My husband was the officer who received the colours from her.

Posted by
228 posts

Have met the Queen twice as a military police officer, 1977 and 1978. One of my positions at an air force base in Canada was for myself and one of my staff, or my staff alone was to provide aircraft security anytime a member of the Royal Family, the Governor General or the PM flew on one of our aircraft.
One of our positions on the plane was to sit in the crew compartment between the Royal Suite and the cockpit. The Royal Suite wasn't blessed with its own lavatory so we got to chat with her Majesty or Prince Philip whenever they passed by. So I am guessing was a couple of feet.

At the end of the first occasion on a flight from Ottawa to the Bahamas the crew lined up on the tarmac and each member was presented the the Queen and Prince Philip.

The second occasion was a cross Canada Royal Tour that took us from Heathrow to Canada. Within Canada we went from Newfoundland to BC with many shorter flights in between. As mentioned above we would see them up close on the way to and from the loo and sometimes they would stop and chat.

One funny incident happened on the flight from Heathrow to Newfoundland. For the Royal flights a suggested menu is sent to the Palace and the royal selections are made. On this occasion they wanted to have a trout dish called Blue Trout that calls for the trout to be killed just before frying. Obviously this was going to be difficult on an aircraft. The solution was to get live trout in the Heathrow kitchens and bring them live on board. As we were responsible for the security of everything brought on board we accompanied the cook to the kitchens.

There, in an aluminum barrel, were several trout ready to be transferred to a smaller barrel. However the trout being still alive were slippery and they flopped out on the floor. There we were on hands and knees trying to catch them. Success and we got them on board. I always laughed to myself if the Queen and Prince Philip had only known what went on behind the scenes so they could have that special trout dinner.

At the end of the tour back in England we were again presented to both the Queen and Prince Philip . When the Queen came to me, she stopped and said "Oh I have seen you before". Despite the thousands of people she met on the tour I was surprised that she remembered having met someone previously.

Very special people.

Posted by
1002 posts

In the summer of '83 I was on a class trip to Europe and saw her pass by in some sort of procession from the sidewalk. I wish I had taken more pictures but in those days, every shot was precious on my Kodak Instamatic.

Posted by
1955 posts

Steve wins!!

It's going to be hard to top his "close encounters" of the Queen kind :)

Jean's husband is a close second.

Posted by
4684 posts

Something like 50 metres on Millennium Eve, when I was at the party at the Globe theatre and she boarded her boat at Bankside Pier on her way to the Dome.

Posted by
259 posts

Closest: June 2008, about 10 yards, as I stood in row #2 along the Mall as she rode by in a carriage on her way to Trooping the Colour

Next to closest: July 1, 1977, about 20 yards, as I was standing outside the Buckingham Palace gates. Suddenly police officers began to move the crowd back. The gates opened and the Queen's car exited. She was on her way to Wimbledon to see Virginia Wade win the women's singles title - the last time a British woman won the title.

Posted by
728 posts

It was 2003 when I went to Trooping of the Color and got a front row position by the Palace. It was a really hot day in London and many of the crowd where moving away from the open and trying to find shade before the Royals returned up the Mall to the Palace. We were able to maneuver into a prime position by the Palace and just waited. My best picture is of Prince William and Harry in an open carriage with Buckingham Palace in the background. That picture is amazing and has been on display in my classroom in Missouri ever since! I have been to Trooping of the color a few other times but never had the chance to get a front row position like that again. In June 2012, I went to the Jubilee celebrations in London to watch the Thames flotilla. It was the coldest and wettest day every in London for June! It was miserable! The next day the weather was better and we did get a dry enough spell to stand in the crown and see many members of the Royal family as they drove through London. I cherish my Royal pictures!

Posted by
82 posts

I was across the field from her and Prince Philip at the Braemar Gathering in Scotland in 2016 for a couple of hours. It was pouring rain most of the day, all the Scottish people around us told us not to worry, it will stop when the Queen arrives. And it really did! Her car pulls up, the clouds break, and it was sunny the rest of the time!

Posted by
2664 posts

A foot away from the Queen, Prince Philip, Princess Anne and the rest of the royals that belong to The Order of the Garter. My daughter and I was standing close the the entrance of St George’s Chapel, we were in the front row and they walked right in front of us, as The Order if the Garter walked down from the castle to the chapel. We were so close to them.

Posted by
424 posts

1975, Bermuda - we were on family vacation there when Her Majesty made a state visit, so we stood by the side of the road from the airport and watched her motorcade go by....guessing we were about 20 ft away. Thrilling for a little kid!

Posted by
11613 posts

Mid-1980s, twice. I was living in Roma and Her Majesty was visiting. I was in a crowd of stopped traffic both times.

Posted by
993 posts

Never. But I did meet Alan Rickman in the china department of Fortnum and Masons and told him I loved him. I did too and still do.

Posted by
179 posts

Oh Laurel, meeting Alan Rickman is better than seeing the queen! I'm so jealous! Great actor. Miss him so much.

Posted by
2664 posts

Saw and said hi to James Nesbitt, in September he was on Regent Street waiting to start filming Cold Feet.

Posted by
4741 posts

The clothing company my dad worked for was given a Queen's Award to Industry (as it was back then) and was one of those put forward to go to Buckingham Palace being the employee that had been with them the longest (42 years!). For most this is just a reception, but The Queen herself selects a few companies to meet personally and his was one of them - apparently because she remembered the name from her childhood.

Posted by
3356 posts

But I did meet Alan Rickman in the china department of Fortnum and
Masons and told him I loved him. I did too and still do.

What a fine actor! May he rest in peace. It seems a bit stalker-like to ask how close one has gotten to the Queen.

Posted by
876 posts

I was once browsing a table in the gift shop at the Tate Modern and looked up to see Geoffrey Rush standing across from me. I was too shy to say anything.

Posted by
13026 posts

At The Trooping of the Colour it's possible I saw Her Majesty's car drive by but I did see Princess Kate in her car.

Alan Rickman lost the gun fight to Tom Selleck.

Posted by
2141 posts

Princess Kate

ain't no such person - she's not a princess

Posted by
13026 posts

sorry...You know who was I referring to. If you didn't, as they say in "South Pacific" by Rogers and Hammerstein, , "ain't that too damn bad." I mean, Kate.

Posted by
8515 posts

""ain't that too damn bad."

Now Fred, some respect for the culture of the others, even if you're a proud Yank. I know, we had a Revolution and left the Empire, but still.... It was his way of letting you know that titles DO matter, and from what I've seen, they do indeed carry a lot of weight and responsibility. Not every woman who marries a prince becomes a princess, except in Disney's world.

Posted by
13026 posts

I do most definitely respect titles as it pertains to the British monarchy, she is not a Princess but higher, a Duchess. I don't really see myself as proud Yank, even though in the eyes of our British cousins I am indeed a Yank, am just a native Californian.

Posted by
3356 posts

Not every woman who marries a prince becomes a princess

Good point: In the UK, not Kate Middleton, Sarah Ferguson, Sophie Rhys-Jones. None of those women is a princess. Or is there some exception as Kate could be Princess William and Marie Christine is in fact known via her husband as Princess Michael of Kent.

Diana became a princess when she married Charles --- I'm guessing the woman who marries the Prince of Wales, heir to the throne, automatically becomes the Princess of Wales, hence Princess Diana?