Bustling city of immigrants, high altar honors the American military and in search of Platform 9 3/4

At Buckingham Palace, looking forward to coming home but savoring every minute of a wonderful experience

by Sr. Eileen Quinlan, SND, Ph.D., ’74, professor of English/communication

Friday introduced the Notre Dame College travelers to highlights of the City of Westminster and the City of London—what we commonly call London includes both, as well as many surrounding boroughs, a metropolis of 6 million people speaking as many as 300 different languages—truly a vibrant and bustling city of immigrants.

At Buckingham Palace we discovered that the Queen was not in, as she had gone to Windsor yesterday afternoon. As a matter of fact, some sharp-eyed members of our group noted that the flag changed while we were in Windsor yesterday, signaling her arrival.

While we were near the Houses of Parliament, the clock called Big Ben struck 10 a.m., and the fine mist transitioned to light rain. Driving through Trafalgar Square and into the Strand and Fleet Street (where we did pass the location of SweeneyTodd's barber shop!) was a slow process, given the narrow streets and midday traffic.

The College travelers explore St. Paul's Cathedral.

St. Paul's Cathedral, designed by Sir Christopher Wren and built in just 35 years, was dedicated in 1712, replacing the church that had burned in the Great Fire of 1666. It survived the Blitz during WW II, and a beautiful stained glass window behind the high altar honors the American military who gave their lives in the defense of Britain.

This afternoon, some went off by rail to the Tudor palace at Hampton Court, others went to the British Library, and Carrington (Lisser, student) and Ramona (friend of the College) headed to St. Pancras Station in search of Platform 9 3/4. (In Borough Market we had met some Spanish schoolgirls wearing their Hogwarts sweatshirts and House medals, so we knew the quest was possible.)

Everyone is tired, and ready to come home, but everyone is also quite happy with the adventures of the past week.


March 24
8:00 PM
Sunday March 24, 8:00pm
Regina Chapel
E.g., 03/24/19
E.g., 03/24/19