Lots of picture and words in this one. I have a lot of information to cram into one post.
As my time in London begins its descent into a close (unbelievable), I have strengthened my efforts to take advantage of every opportunity that presents itself. Even if that effort means standing in the pouring rain in Leicester Square for 6 hours to be a part of the most anticipated movie premiere of the year.
The European premiere of The Dark Knight Rises was held in Leicester Square and the full principle cast was set to attend. I arrived in the square at about 11 and joined the queue, which turned out to be for the garden- prime viewing spot for those hoping to catch a glimpse of some celebrities. I didn’t care if I had the best spot in the house, I just wanted a spot but I was told the line was fot TDKR, so I joined. After wasting two hours in line, we were then told we would not be making it into the garden and that we should disperse to other areas throughout the square. As I searched for a new area, I began to get a little disappointed- while I waited in line, crowds filled out the remaining areas. However, I soldiered on and ended up second row at the end of the red carpet. There were several times throughout the day I felt like calling it a day and going home. I didn’t NEED to see the stars and it was raining and I was hungry and my back was begging me to sit down. The hardest part is the last hour and at 4:00pm I almost walked away. But I would have kicked myself if I had gotten that close only to give up, so I stuck it out and at 5:30 the stars began to arrive.
It took quite awhile for the celebrities to make their way down to us. The carpet was extremely long and the cast had to make their way through the press, photo calls and autographs. But finally, they had arrived. In addition to the main players, I had the fortune of seeing a multitude of other big stars, many of whom are very famous in Britain.
Because the premiere was so big, it was split between two theatres. This is the Empire Theatre. I was situated in front of neighbouring theatre, the ODEON.
The arrival of this vehicle from the film kicked off the red carpet events
Matthew Lewis. Many of you will know him as Neville Longbottom from the Harry Potter franchise.
Cillian Murphy, star of The Dark Knight Rises
Morgan Freeman, star of TDKR
I feel that I should mention here that most of the stars of the Dark Knight did not stop to sign autographs where I was standing. I was right outside the theatre so by the time they got to where I was, there we ready to get inside. Therefore, many of the pictures are a bit blurry.
Marion Cotillard, star of TDKR
Hans Zimmer, the film’s composer
The only photo I managed to get of Batman himself, Christian Bale. When he come up the carpet, he headed towards the other theatre so I was unable to snap a good picture of him.
Tom Hardy, the film’s villain
Marion Cotillard making her way down the carpet
Joseph Gordon-Levitt. The only cast member to stop over to sign autographs.
I’d be lying if I said wanting to see him wasn’t my main motivation for countless hours of standing in a crowded spot surrounded by people I don’t know.
After Joseph Gordon-Levitt made his way into the theatre, I hastily made my own exit. I didn’t stick around to see Anne Hathaway- I’ve never been a huge fan of hers so I wasn’t bothered to wait around for her to make her way to the end of the carpet. So, I made my way home to video chat with my mom to tell her all about the day’s adventures and while catching up on Twitter during our conversation I saw news that, despite my incredibly good fortune (which I am not taking for granted here, I must preface this by saying), was enough to make me want to go a little bit insane. Right there spelled out in front of me was the news that Prince Harry attended The Dark Knight Rises premiere. However, he obviously wasn’t aware that I was in Leicester Square because he was on the other side of the Thames River at the BFI Imax theatre in Waterloo. The conversation with my mom was put on the back burner because I could not allow myself to get over the fact that I’d missed my prince. But because it’s too good to ignore, I’ll share a picture of him from that premiere so you can see what I was missing and hopefully understand my devastation.
This is NOT my picture. As much as I wish it was, because that would have meant that I was there. I’m sharing it because he’s too beautiful to keep to myself even though I’d love for that to be the case.
This man in a suit is God’s gift to me.
The end of last night’s adventure brings me to today. Because if I can’t see Prince Harry, I’ll take his sister-in-law. The Duchess was scheduled to make a solo appearance at the opening of ‘The Road to Olympics’ exhibition at The National Portrait gallery. It was hardly publicised but I was not expecting that when I turned up, I’d be the only patron with a bunch of press photographers. I asked a police officer if it was okay that the public wait for her and he said it was fine and that I could stand anywhere. Success. I picked a spot close to the door and waited. And that’s when the homeless man struck up a conversation. Although he was very lovely and wanted to know if I like “Kate Middlespoon”, I didn’t want to spend the whole time making small talk about why the Queen should buy his magazine. So at a break in the conversation I nonchalantly moved to the opposite side of the door, out of his view.
It was about 7:45 am by this point and I had NO idea what time Kate would be arriving. The news on the event was all very vague and for good reason. As I was waiting, two police officers came over to set up their post. I eventually worked up the nerve to ask them if they knew what time Kate would be arriving and from then the three of us struck up a conversation to pass the time. Several onlookers stopped the officers to ask them what was going on and asked why there were so many photographers. They answered with, “Someone is coming to open the new gallery.” I inquired about their ability to pass on information and one of the officers said, “If someone is lucky enough to see the information on Twitter, I will help her out. But if not, I won’t be the reason for hundreds of people gathering to see Kate.”
As the road shut down to make way for her motorcade, the public became even more curious and a crowd gathered. So when their sergeant alerted them that Kate would be arriving in two minutes, they pushed everyone back behind a yellow line marked on the pavement- a view obstructed by a lamppost and a traffic light.
Because our conversation from earlier was focused on what I’ve been doing since I arrived in England, I told the officers I’m just trying to see as much in London as I can before I return home and I filled them in on my love for the British Royal Family. As a result, when the public got pushed back, my newfound officer friends came over to me and said, “Stick right behind us and you’ll get a great view of her. You’ll never get this close again.” As a result of their kindness and willingness to play for my side, I give you the Duchess: