A local family was on hand in London earlier this month to be a part of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee celebrations.
Tsawwassen's Stacey Gilkinson, along with daughter Stacey, 20, and son Connor, 18, hopped a plane across the pond late last month to make the trek to take it all in.
The family made the trip in honour of two special men who are no longer around - Gilkinson's husband, Bryce Gilkinson, a retired RCMP Cpl., died suddenly in August 2010 and her father, Kenneth Horwood, also an RCMP officer and a longtime Delta resident, who passed away several years ago.
The trio aimed to retrace Horwood's steps.
He was among a contingent of RCMP officers that traveled to London for the Queen's coronation in June 1953, a year after her accession to the throne following the death of her father, King George VI.
The Gilkinsons arrived in London the week before the central celebration weekend of June 2 to 5.
"As the week went on, the decorations started going up all over the city," Gilkinson said in an email to the Optimist. "The atmo-sphere everywhere we went continued to intensify as the big weekend approached. England was truly united in their celebrations."
On the first day of the big weekend, the family took in a Royal Jubilee concert at Royal Albert Hall.
Gilkinson said the patriotism was palpable as the audience was treated to a number of English standards.
"Every person in the place was waving a flag during the sing-a-alongs," she said, "really an experience to be a part of."
On June 3, the family had prime seats for the flotilla on the Thames, which included more than 1,000 vessels. Gilkinson said the family's hotel balcony looked out over the famous river.
"The bridges and banks of the Thames River were packed with people," she said, adding that Union Jacks were hung everywhere and the trio brought their own hung Canadian flag to hang from the balcony.
They weren't the only ones. Gilkinson said the balconies to the left and right were also decorated with Canadian flags.
Music, cheers and whistles were ever present throughout the marine procession.
"The noise became deafening as the Queen's boat went under the bridge," Gilkinson said. "We are absolutely convinced that we got a personal royal wave from the family as there were three balconies all in a row decorated with large Canadian flags.
"It definitely attracted attention from the flotilla members," she said. "A Canadian canoe lifted their paddles out of the water as they passed us and saluted."
Gilkinson said the family was also able to watch some of the action going on at Westminster Abbey as they could see it from the hotel balcony.
"There was a special luncheon held there for the Queen on the last day of the four-day holiday weekend," she said. "Crowds again lined the streets between St. Paul's Cathedral and Westminster Abbey for a final view of the Queen on her jubilee weekend."
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