After three months of waiting, last Monday I was approaching Buckingham Palace in a taxi, trying to make myself look presentable after less than three hours sleep the previous night. The train had left at just before four in the morning, and I had been up since half-past two re-checking my bag - making sure I had packed the invitation(which I was very likely to forget) - and working out the best way to keep a shirt from creasing during the journey. After winning a Journalism Award in June(blog post here!), having written an article on our obsession with technology, I thought I would talk about if for a few weeks before it would almost be forgotten. Instead, we received an email with information about a Prize Giving hosted for the winners by the Duke of York, followed by the itinerary for the day and invitations detailing the dress code in the months after. The idea of walking through those gates was one I couldn't contemplate, as I had only just seen the Palace from the outside.
Even before I walked through the gates, the morning had proved to be eventful. Arriving a few hours early - not willing to take another risk after we were two hours late for the finals - the time was spent at a cafe inside Paddington Station, overlooking the platforms as they became packed with commuters. London must be the most interesting place to people-watch! I tried to calm my nerves, phoning a friend to tell them I had just met Prince Harry as a distraction, but this failed to work. The tube lines had closed and we were a half-an-hour tube journey away. Every time there was an announcement I froze. We did - when London's tubes must have been at their slowest - arrive on time, with about ten minutes to spare.
|During the prize-giving|
|I'm the one with the ponytail!|
I'm not the type of girl that finds herself in Palaces every day. Or one that belongs at any sort of event that involves public-speaking and photographers. Between the walking to the men's toilets rather than the women's and the not being able to hold a china cup, I probably did appear a little vulnerable. But, I can't say I'll ever forget it.
This is the part where I thank you for all of the support over the past two years of running this blog! Knowing that people are taking the time to read what I've written and to post comments continues to make my day. What is said in comments and on Twitter has given my the boost to continue writing and to fall in love with blogging/journalism. Thank you so much for helping me get there!