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Wednesday, September 28, 2022
Editor’s NotebookEditor's Notebook: A mad dash to Buckingham Palace

Editor’s Notebook: A mad dash to Buckingham Palace

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Yours truly has no direct tales to tell regarding the late Queen Elizabeth II, but there is one in my arsenal relating to her London home.

Two decades ago, yours truly and a Sun Gazette colleague were on a (there’s no better way to put it) press junket with US Airways, which was going to ink an agreement for a huge aircraft order with Airbus in Toulouse, France, and wanted some media (including us from its HQ community of Arlington) to chronicle the consummation.

Our travels first took us across the pond (in first class!) to London, then there was a layover of about 2.5 hours before our flight to France was slated to take us the rest of the way.

Rather than just hang around with the rest of the crowd, we two Sun Gazette-rs decided to make a mad dash to go see Buckingham Palace, which entailed an express-bus trip from Gatwick Airport into the heart of London, then a walk the half-mile or so to the palace. (Living up to its reputation, it was a foggy day in ol’ London-town.)

We got back to Gatwick in plenty of time to make the connecting flight, and were the talk of the group as we were the only ones who had decamped from the airport lounge to actually give a quick once-over to London. (I’d been there before, but my colleague had not.)

No idea if the queen was in residence that day; the royals do tend to avoid Buckingham Palace when they can. But either way, was a fun excursion as part of a fun trip.

My colleague is now down in Florida; US Airways is now American Airlines (and long gone from its Arlington headquarters); the queen has now taken the royal escalator up to the pearly gates. But both Buckingham Palace and I are still where we were, lo those many years ago!

-Scott McCaffrey

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