Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Waterloo report from the Front 2: La Haye Sainte, Charles, Camilla and John Major

As we walked by La Haye Sainte 0855 17th June 2015
70+ degrees and at 0835 we are standing on the site of Wellington's Elm. Little did we know that within three hours we would have seen Royalty and found an ex-Prime Minister of the UK in his post ministerial job!
Has the World Cup moved from Russia to Waterloo?
Grand stands along the attack route of I Corps
Just what have the done with the hallowed fields of Waterloo? Made them look like a baseball stadium! Grand stands in a L shape from Fichermont convent to the site of the Grand Battery. I know this bodes well for the huge reenactments scheduled for both Friday and Saturday but it is a bit of a shocker particularly as I have walked these fields many times before and appreciated the uninterrupted views.
Bivouacs line the route of the Imperial Guard attack, Hougoumont on the right out of shot.
We walked the Chausee Bruxelles from the Crossroads to just short of La Belle Alliance before making our way back to the newly opened subterranean  cavern that is the 1815 Museum. This is an astonishingly well appointed facility as some of the pictures show.
Charles N' Who? These Preussers don't care about the Royal visit behind them
I know I have committed to not broadening the general scope of this blog but for Waterloo 200 I think some exceptions are excusable. Over the next few weeks I will share as many pictures of the exhibits in the new museum as possible.
Yards and yards and yards of this stuff - the new museum
One of our group met the Brit who made ALL of these uniforms in 3 months!
Much more will follow, this is a wee taster
The High Command group was outstanding
Plenty of pictures of La Haye Sainte, plenty of reenactors milling around and then comes the motorcade for Chas and Cam. Sirens wail, outriders make it look like Led Zep have just arrived for Live at the Butte and out pour the bodyguards before the Prince and retinue are ushered past the bemused crowds of Landwehr and Grognards on their mobile phones and drinking skinny lattes.
The scale of the Museum is truly impressive
As I sit watching the Waterloo 200 circus unfold before my eyes I do a double take... surely, no, is it? no it can't be... I reach for my camera... John Major has been serving in the Kurmarck Landwehr! I had no idea he was there. I mean, he's been a bit quiet recently but who would have guessed.
Wha? I thought he was still in the UK
We finished the day in the Wellington 1815 Museum in Waterloo itself. A little old, tired and smelling like it had seen better days. Not a waste of time but the least rewarding part of the trip so far.
One of the better exhibits in the Wellington 1815 Museum
Join us tomorrow for Hougoumont and possibly further exposure of retired senior British politicians settling into new roles.....

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