I just kicked off the first part of my spring break with a trip to London. Although being around English speakers was a vacation in itself, my trip couldn’t have gone better for a number of reasons..

I found myself doing all the things I had expected, like touring the Warner Brother’s Studio Harry Potter set. I begged the guy at the front desk to give me a ‘Harry Potter Passport,’ a fun booklet you get to stamp a different Hogwarts crest onto at each set location. Its only given to children ages 11 and under, but come on, no real Harry Potter fan is under 11…

Anyways, I did do something much more realistic, and that was visiting Westminster Abbey. At first, I just thought I was going to look at another old cathedral, however, I had no idea of what a historic and monumental place Westminster Abbey is. Aside from being the burial location of almost every past King and Queen of England, as well as Charles Darwin, Isaac Newton, and Charles Dickens (to name a few), it was built and founded by our school’s namesake, St. Edward the Confessor. How cool is that?!

Upon finding this out, and realizing that St. Edward is buried right in the center of the church, I was lucky enough to get a private tour of the tomb, which is usually closed off to the public. 

To get inside I had to climb some old wooden stairs and I wasn’t allowed to touch or take pictures of the centuries-old tomb. St. Edward’s grave used to be covered in real gold, until King Henry the VIII’s men stole the top off the casket. Now it isn’t so fancy, but you can still see parts of the shiny gold near the bottom of the casket. Etched in stone on the wall across from his tomb are pictures depicting what makes him a saint. The last image shows St. Edward giving his ring to a poor man when the man was asking him for money. According to the lady giving me the tour, this is why St. Edward is always shown to have a ring. “Every Saint has their signature item, and Edward the Confessor’s is a ring,” she told me. I guess this is perfect considering SEU just started giving out class rings.

So as much as I enjoyed drinking butter beer and eating chocolate frogs at Hogwarts, seeing St. Edward’s grave and coming to terms with the fact that he is responsible for all of Westminster Abbey wins without a doubt.