Hipster Londoners go out to see queue

COOL Londoners have headed over to the Thames to see this queue everyone is talking about.

Residents of the capital, who are far too superior to be bothered with any of the attractions that only tourists and provincials on day trips visit, are flocking to an extraordinary pop-up art installation ironically critiquing Britishness.

Julian Cook of Dalston said: “Of course I’ve never been to Buckingham Palace or Westminster Abbey or any of those things. Why would I? I live here.

“But the queue is amazing. Snaking five miles along the Thames, like a human wall stopping anyone making the mistake of going south of the river, it’s absurd, surreal and very Instagrammable.

“It reminds me of the 2012 thing, the Olympics, where all these people pretended to play invented sports and get medals even though the whole thing was a meaningless charade. Only in London would people actually get this, you know?”

Grace Wood-Morris, aged 20, said: “The queue? That’s so Thursday. I’m into the queue for the queue.”

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The Queen who walked within six feet of me when entering a building 20 years ago: a personal account

THERE was the public Queen we all knew. Then there was the real Queen, the private woman who I caught a glimpse of for eight seconds two decades ago.

Anticipation was high. The crowd was out in force. Her Majesty, in the year of her Golden Jubilee, was making an unprecedented visit to Newport Leisure Centre.

The Welsh city was buzzing with anticipation as the Royal Bentley drew up outside the historic building, opened in 1985, previously host to gigs by The Smiths, David Bowie and Megadeth.

The car’s door was opened and Queen Elizabeth herself stepped out, as if in slow motion, the sheer historic gravity of the event overwhelming the audience who fell at once into silence as every detail of the most important moment in all their lives was engraved forever on their minds.

Graciously but emphatically, she walked within no more than six feet of me. The extraordinary presence of royalty was for the first time within lunging distance.

And, as the crowd roared with spontaneous joy, our eyes met. Her twinkling orbs at once disarmed and reassured me and seemed to say ‘What a lot of fuss! But isn’t it right? Am I not simultaneously your servant and much, much better than you, a mere subject?’

Our very real connection lasted but a split-second, but I have remained humbled and exalted by it on every day of the two decades since. I tell the story frequently and feel sure the Queen did too.

That is my account of the Queen Elizabeth I knew. It proves, without possibility of contradiction, how wonderful, unique and treasured she was. And the same goes for her eldest son.