Friday, October 12, 2007

In the Presence of Royalty

Blue Lights
Originally uploaded by Gary McMurray.

On Tuesday when Carmen and myself went down into Trinity, we noticed there were a lot of TCD security guards about the place, with an area of the quadrangle cordoned off. In fact, in that area, there was a wee man hoovering the leaves off the cobblestones.

The tricolour was flying from the top of Regent House - the main building - and the Belgian flag was flying at one side of it. After a few enquiries, we discovered that the King and Queen of Belgium were going to be visiting Trinity College Dublin later in the day. So we hung about for a while before the lecture, but time defeated us, and into New Testament we went.

During the class, I heard a few sirens going off and thought that they had come and gone. But when we left the class, lo and behold, they hadn't yet visited! So we waited about to see what would happen. We got the best afternoon's craic watching what happened.

From the TCD security guards moving their barriers every few minutes, to them being unable to give clear instructions on the diversion around the post-grad library, to the small group of students organised to give a welcome to the guests - the students being dressed in black, yellow and red, and standing in the appropriate order!

After about 40 minutes, we saw the 6 Garda outriders, and the 8 or 10 big black cars of their convoy sped through the main square at Trinity and up to the doors of the Old Library, where the King and Queen were to see the Book of Kells.

The photo I got of their car has been uploaded to Flickr, but you can't actually see them, so I used the above photo instead! But it made me think. Us plebs, the ordinary people, were kept back by Garda (the police) and by security guards, while the high ranking people got to have a few minutes with the royals.

What a contrast to the King of Kings, who was known as the 'friend of sinners', who came to serve, not to be served, who took the time to answer the needs of Bartimaeus!

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