The day started by fans gathering behind the set up barrier all the way from the early hours of the morning.
I had arrived rather late, 2pm, but still managed to get a spot right out the front of the barrier. But then came the dilemma; stay behind the barrier to watch 'The Queen' arrive and see her for the first time in the flesh, or, line up at the other cinema down the road to purchase last minute tickets to the movie when they would go on sale 30 minutes before the movie started. So I made an executive decision and stayed where I was, I figured I would watch the movie later and that seeing me life long idol was most important.
Luckily for me someone was selling tickets to the movie at cost price so I quickly nabbed the 'seven rows from the front' ticket and continued now not only to see the queen Madonna but to also go join her to watch her movie.
As soon as she stepped out of the car and on to the red carpet the crowd went wild! Everyone wanted a piece of her as she tried to move between signing autographs for fans and doing interviews for the press. The BFI security originally told us all that no one would be allowed on the carpet when the celebrities where arriving so those with tickets would have to wait right till the end to enter the auditorium. But the security were obviously NOT doing their job and even as the super star Madonna arrived, they were letting the general public walk the red carpet to the cinema.
The fans that had been patiently waiting behind the barrier where getting well angry as ticket holders on the carpet where crowding around Madonna to get a snap and blocking all view. In the end it became too crowded that they ushered Madonna straight into the cinema to which the fans replied with a loud boo.
Inside the 3500 seat auditorium Madonna came to the front and introduced the movie and some of the cast. As she adjusted the microphone stand she said 'You guys obviously think I'm shorter than I am'. I was only 7 rows from the front, watching my life long Idol talk candidly to the crowd. It was so surreal and so nice to have her in a quiet and intimate setting. She then took her seat in the middle of the auditorium and proceeded to watch the movie with us all (I would occasionally think of this and smile, I was chilling and watching a movie with my girl).
The moment the credits started to roll the crowd rose to a long and loud standing novation.
Afterwards she came back down to the front and had a question and answer session on the film with the artistic director of the BFI.
The movie was beautifully filmed from start to finish. The story was captivating, a little rushed at times I felt, got slightly confusing with the cutting back and forth especially if you weren't too familiar with the story of the Duke and Duchess. But in the end it all came together and made sense, and the reason for the modern day story that was interweaved with the story of the Duke and Duchess became quite important and necessary.
Ultimately it was a story about love and the struggles to make it work, which I think everyone can relate to. And also, as Madonna herself described, its about not judging something or someone on what you have heard but about doing as much research of your own as possible, realising there is always more than one side of the story, and that everyone's side of the story and how it made them feel is just as important.
It was a brilliant night, a truely great movie and a wonderful first meeting with my queen, Madonna.