That Time I Saw the Queen of England

In March 2015, I spent some time in England while waiting to figure out what was going to happen in Yemen. In the short time I was there, Queen Elizabeth happened to be making an appearance in Sheffield!

I was wearing my last pair of contacts and was worried that something would happen to them, so one day while I was in the city center of Sheffield, I decided to pop in a Vision Express store. Unfortunately, you can’t just get tested real quick and buy contacts, they make you test them out for a few weeks before you can buy a pack of them.


The guy I talked to about it could tell I was American by my accent, so he then asked me if I knew that the Queen was coming to town the next day. I laughed nervously because I assumed he was just playing a joke on a naive American (me) who would believe anything.

Side view of Sheffield Town Hall

He was not joking. He said the Queen was coming to Sheffield Town Hall for a meeting the next afternoon, and that I could watch as she leaves. The next day I got going late, so I thought I was going to miss her. When I got to the city center, there were a ton of people lined up waiting to watch her come out and get into the car. I hadn’t missed it!


I had two options: watch her get into her car in front of Town Hall, where I’d be 5 or 6 people deep and may not get a good look at her, or go further down the road where I’d be in the first row but I’d only get a glance of her while she was driving away in the car. I chose the latter.

I stood there for at least an hour (maybe even two? I can’t remember) before she finally came out of Town Hall. I waited anxiously with my Samsung Galaxy Stellar camera phone itching to get the perfect picture. But alas, I am not a photographer. I barely know how to use a camera phone. I recently had to google how to take a screen shot on my iPhone. The best picture I got has her face cut off:

Queen Elizabeth looking classy in turquoise


For all you know, that could actually be my grandma.

If I had snapped the picture half a second later, I probably would have gotten the perfect picture instead of a picture where you can’t even tell that it’s her.

I then ran down the road, hoping to catch up to take another picture. I didn’t catch her.


And just like that, she was gone.


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