Royalty lands in Ottawa, Canada – June 30, 2011
The shot above was taken just before the couple were getting into the car to head over to Rideau Hall.
The Canadian version of the Will and Kate show, as some have called it, began today when Prince William and Kate Middleton arrived at Ottawa International Airport at about 2PM. I was at home in Kanata watching Canada’s unfortunate defeat in women’s soccer, when I decided to collect up my camera and a couple of lenses and head for downtown Ottawa to enjoy the moment along with the many others who would be lining the streets. I would have left earlier but Canadian player, Christine Sinclair, playing with a broken nose, had just been knocked to the ground by a hard struck soccer ball hitting her in the face over in Germany and I’m more of a soccer fan than a royalty fan.
The area around the Cenotaph was cordoned off to allow for access by the official cars. By the time that I arrived, the crowd was about five deep lining the streets along the latter part of the route. (The following shot of me in a crowd was taken by Jana Kriz and gives a good idea of slight advantage that I had due to my height 🙂 – thanks Jana).
All of my shots were taken from with my Nikon D300 and either my 17-55mm lens or my 80-400mm lens. Some additional cropping was then applied for the long shots.
Of course, I wasn’t the only one taking pictures or just looking at the crowd :-).
Everything was moving along rather peacefully until Prime Minister Harper and his entourage arrived in their black cars, vans and trucks. It wasn’t that people were in a nasty mood or wanted to speak to Harper about postal service or other matters of governing of the country. It was just that all of those drivers of all of those nice LARGE black vehicles began to take up positions along the perimeter of the open space thus blocking the view of many of the spectators. On my side of the road, this lead to a chant of “MOVE THOSE TRUCKS!!!” which began to increase in volume. This led to a quick discussion among the police, security and paramedic crews and then some nifty formation parking out of the way on Queen Street.
Once the Harper vehicles were out of the way, it wasn’t long before they were replaced by an equally large number of equally large, equally black vehicles when William and Kate arrived.
Thankfully, they parked on the other side of the road and no one from our side started our chant again. It’s okay to complain when the PM’s group blocks the view but, we’re Canadians and Canadians don’t treat visitors that way, eh! 🙂
I had also moved up onto a higher perch so had a bit better angle to be able to shoot over the vehicles a bit better.
Despite the bit of discourse relating to the vehicles, it was generally a pretty festive occasion with little girls decked out in their finest little dresses and young ladies sporting the latest in hair fashions.
I’ve been told that there is a difference between a bonnet, a hat and a fascinator but I’m not going to wade into that discussion in this blog entry :-).
Most of my shots were from behind or were partially blocked by security folks. I’m uploading this shot for those designers who wanted to know what the back of the dress looked like :-).
I was rather surprised by how tall both of the couple were. That was good, though, since I could actually see them from time to time above the crowd. Once they were out of the car, there was the meet and greet period with PM Harper and then they headed up to the cenotaph to lay a few wreaths and disappeared from sight for awhile as they stopped to talk to some of the veterans who were assembled by the cenotaph.
As they mingled with the crowds, I’m certain that the security personnel were holding there breath on more than one occasion but, from my distance, it appeared that both Will and Kate were quite at ease in close quarters with all of the well wishers.
Once they had made their way back to those black cars, there were a few final waves.
First to the crowd.
And then to me :-).
And then, off they went to another crowd waiting to see them at Rideau Hall.
Thank goodness I wasn’t carrying around a BIG camera!
And carrying all of those flowers was a tough job but someone has to do it!
The weather cooperated, not too hot, not to cold and there were no unruly demonstrations or anything like that so the paramedic folks around the cenotaph had a pretty easy day. One person was being treated before the couple arrived and got to watch the proceedings from a stretcher but other than that I think that all went well . I’m pretty happy to see the police and paramedics on the scene even when they aren’t busy.