Monday, April 17, 2006

Windsor Castle - before the storm

click photo to enlarge
Five minutes after I took this photograph of Windsor Castle under a dark grey, threatening sky, I was inside a pub with my companions watching the rain and hail bouncing off the road outside. The day had started bright and warm, but, with not even a hint of a warning from the weather forecasters, a front swept across the south-east of England, depositing April snow on Kent and spoiling my day out in Windsor!

Being a person of republican tendencies I'd like to see a storm over Windsor as a metaphor for British sentiment regarding the royal family. Unfortunately it isn't. Whilst minor royals, and some of the immediate family routinely get bad press, the Queen sails on into her eightieth year, and the fifty third year of her reign, as unassailable as ever. It seems that longevity in royalty deepens public affection. Our two best loved and remembered queens are Elizabeth I and Victoria, both of whom had long reigns: Elizabeth II seems set to repeat their achievement.

I hadn't set out with the intention of photographing Windsor Castle from the start of the Long Walk. However, the light from that menacing sky deepened the colour saturation of the scene, and made the Castle look like a cardboard cutout. Now anyone of a republican persuasion is going to see the metaphor in that, and so I took the shot! The odd lighting, the symmetry of the building and foreground, and the two scarlet spots of the guardsmen's jackets make for an interesting image, even if, unfortunately, there is no deeper resonance to it!
photograph & text (c) T. Boughen