As you all know, back in April I set my alarm for 2:30am and got up to watch Will & Kate get married. I’ve been a {closeted} Royal fan for most of my life. I’m not going to waste time on here defending why I enjoy the Monarchy, I’m just going to say that I think they have a place within our Commonwealth and I am happy to have that link with them.

Today I saw Royalty with my own eyes.

My friend Rita and I decided that since Will & Kate were in Calgary, we should probably try our hardest to see them, even if it was just a glimpse. I got up early, drove to pick her up and headed for the train {no way was I driving downtown}. We joined the masses that packed onto the c-train, everyone buzzing with either Stampede or Royal excitement. The atmosphere itself was worth the trip downtown. From the moment we got off the train we had great luck. We managed to find a perfect spot on the parade route, where Will & Kate would be passing by. We waited, drinking free orange juice that was being passed out, and holding down our spots.

The motorcade approached, a string of black cars and motorcycles, lights blinking, windows tinted. The Royal car was in the middle, with the Royal flag waving from the antennae. The motorcade moved quickly, but I took my time, really looked and saw Kate, looking out the window, smiling and waving. I could make out William on the other side, but then in a flash they were gone.

The crowd roared: “That was it? It was too fast!”

But I was happy. I was there and got to see them. It was so fun.

We knew that they were heading to the beginning of the parade route, to officially kick off the Stampede, and we thought it might be worth it to try and catch another glimpse. We decided to walk, quickly, across the entire width of downtown Calgary to see if we could spot them again. We walked over to the street running parallel with the parade and travelled as fast as our sore legs would take us. Blocks upon blocks went by, we could see the parade happening to our right, but kept on going. As we approached the final block, I saw a small crowd up ahead and felt like we needed to join it. Then, I saw the motorcycles that had been at the front of the motorcade. They were moving into position. Rita and I quickly ran down the street (much to the consternation of a frazzled police officer) and joined a very small group of people right in front of the Royal motorcade as it was getting ready to depart. It moved slowly this time, and we were so close to it. Will was on our side and he looked right over at our little group and gave a big wave. The cars pulled out and headed away from downtown.

Rita took a couple of pictures but they’re pretty blurry. I found one that someone else had taken {posted to twitter}, and wanted to post it here because it is pretty much what I saw:

Whether you like the Royals or not, it’s hard to deny that the excitement they brought to this city was pretty special. Last night I was having second thoughts about getting up so early and was doubting that we would actually get a chance to see them. I’m so glad we went. It’s not every day that you get to see the future King and Queen in person.

Happy weekend to you!