ABC’s Sarah Baker blogs:
As I walked across Pennsylvania Avenue toward the White House, the street was covered with security vehicles (ambulances, black SUVs and vans) and secret service agents. You could tell there something very big going on. Usually, tourists can walk around in front of the White House, but today restrictions were evident with gates and barriers brought in for the special occasion. (At left, security during the arrival of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II on the South Lawn today.)
Police forces kept a close eye on everyone walking toward the White House gates. As the press swarmed in front to be given access, officers surveyed us in line. We lined up to go through metal detectors and security was tight, with every piece of equipment thoroughly scanned. Of course, there was a problem with my credential so I lagged behind as other ABC producers hurried to get in place.
As I waited for my clearance I could see Blair House across the street where the Queen and her husband Prince Phillip are staying. Crowds of bystanders and security personnel waited patiently outside for a royal appearance as Queen Elizabeth would eventually make her way from there to the White House South Lawn.
Finally, after what seemed like 15 minutes (probably more like 5) I got cleared in and hurried to meet up with the rest of the crew already in position. The White House staffers rushed us through the White House Palm Room (connecting the West Wing to the White House) and onto the South Lawn. I could see helicopters in the sky as we walked forward and, finally, as we got into position, the event began with military bands and color guards parading onto the lawn. Phew just in time!