Ceremonial London, London
Favorite thing: Formerly the headquarters of the British Army, the historic Horse Guards Parade is now a popular site for ceremonies and parades. Being the political hub of the United Kingdom, Horse Guards Parade lies across the way from Buckingham Palace. A number of monuments can be seen along the edges of the grounds paying homage to the military. The London Polo Championships were held here in 2009, and it was chosen as the site for the Beach Volleyball championships of the London 2012 Olympic Games. This historic area is not to be missed on your next trip London! Call ahead for more details.
Favorite thing: The changing of the Guards at Buckingham Palace is a daily ceremonial at about 10:45AM and again at 11:40AM), the mounted guards will ride past, firstly going up The Mall and then returning back down.
Changing the Guard or Guard Mounting is the process involving a new guard exchanging duty with the old guard.
The Guard which mounts at Buckingham Palace is called The Queen’s Guard and is divided into two Detachments: the Buckingham Palace Detachment (which is responsible for guarding Buckingham Palace), and the St. James’s Palace Detachment, (which guards St. James’s Palace). These guard duties are normally provided by a battalion of the Household Division and occasionally by other infantry battalions or other units.
This is one of 'Selfridges' many glorious window displays when we visited in May 2002 (5th). They were celebrating the great 'Bollywood' movie phenomenon, and what a way to celebrate it! I love Bollywood movies, 'Asoka', 'bandit Queen' and 'Salaam Bombay' being three my favourite Indian movies of all time, so thought it only apt to photograph the wonderful and picturesque windows.
This monument, unveiled by the Queen on 9th July 2005 is dedicated to all the women who served in World War II. It is situated close to the Cenotaph on Whitehall.
The website details the many crucial roles women undertook throughout both world wars:
Women in Uniform
The first recorded Mayor of London was Henry Fitz-Ailwyn 1189.
The most famous of them all is Dick Whittington, who held office three times, in 1397, 1406 and 1419. The common story of Dick is quite misleading as he was far from the poor serf, but in fact came from a wealthy background.
As for the black cat which helped him found his fortune by ridding the King of the Barbary Coast of a plague of rats, this is probably just another 'urban myth'!
Each year there is the 'Lord Mayors Show' which used to be on the Thames (hence the term floats), and for some years the Lord Mayor rode on horseback. Since 1757 however, following an incident where the Lord Mayor was unseated by a drunken flowergirl, they have traveled in the famous ceremonial gold coach. The coach is only used on this day, the rest of the year it is kept in the Museum of London.
The Queen's Guard and Queen's Life Guard are the names given to contingents of cavalry and infantry soldiers charged with guarding the official royal residences in London. The British Army has had regiments of both Horse Guards and Foot Guards since before the restoration of King Charles II, and, since 1660, these have been responsible for guarding the Sovereign Palaces.
The Changing of the Guard takes place in the forecourt of Buckingham Palace. The St. James' Palace detachment of the Queen's Guard, led usually by a Corps of Drums, and bearing the Colour (if the Queen is in residence, then this will be the Queen's Colour; if she is not, then it is the Regimental Colour), marches along the Mall to Buckingham Palace, where the Buckingham Palace detachment has formed up to await their arrival.
Fondest memory: BUCKINGHAM PALACE The changing of the guard takes place most days during the summer at 11.30
This is a photo of the Royal Guards marching down to Buckingham Palace (taken in 2000)...we just happened to come across them as we were leaving the palace, we had no idea that they were on their way or perhaps we would have waited to see them there.
We also saw the Royal Guards on our trip in 2005 while we were watching nthe Changing of the Guards.
Hyde Par is very interesting place. People running here in the mornings, they watching the horse guard trainings and just walking around.
Fondest memory: One more thing what people can do in the Hyde Park, it is to thinking about the life. Diana Princess of Wales memorial walk helps to find state of mind.
11am Monday-Saturday and 10am Sunday, the underground station Westminster
In a more accessible version of Buckingham Place’s Changing of the Guard, the mounted troopers of the Household Cavalry change guard here daily, at the official entrance to the royal palaces (opposite the Banqueting House). A lite-pomp version takes place at 4 pm when the dismounted guards are changed.
Fondest memory: Very, very beautiful and gracouis
This particular change took place at Horseguards Parade but there is also a change at Buckingham Palace, WIndsor Castle and The Tower of London. It is basically a shift change for the Queens Guard and takes place to the pomp and ceremony of a marching band. In the summer, the guard changes daily at around 11am. Check the following website for times: http://www.royal.gov.uk/output/Page378.asp
Fondest memory: Trying to make a member of the Queens Guard move or laugh when I was a child. It's part of their training that they have to stay as still as a statue while on sentry duty!
Favorite thing: There is a fountain in front of Buckingham Palace that faces the courtyard. If you have a chance, you should stand at the top of the stairs to watch the ceremony. This allows you to see the entire ceremony and at the end, the soldiers march right in front of you.
Favorite thing: The changing of the guard is one of Britain's oldest ceremonies. This ritual takes place everyother day (weather permitting). The entire ceremony takes over an hour to complete and most of the action happens towards the end. When I was there, the changing of the guard ceremony started at 11:00AM in front of Buckingham Palace.
Every now and then, the flags are put up in the Mall. The Mall is the road that leads from Trafalgar Square all the way up to Buckingham Palace.
This time the flags were flying to help promote London's Olypic Bid for 2012. The Mall had been closed off to traffic and was full of pedestrians.
The Mall looks so much better when the flags are up, and closing the road to cars also helps (this is NOT typical).
The flags you can see here alternate between the Union Jack (the red, white and blue flag that symbolises Great Britain and Northern Ireland) and London Olympic Games 2012 Support the Bid flags. As part of the bidding process, it is important to show how committed the local city is to hosting the games, and London seems to be going out of her way to look interested!
This was a very tough tip to categorise. I don't expect it will be happening again in a hurry, and it appearedto be done to help promote London's Olypic bid for the 2012 games.
As I walked in to Trafalgar Square I was gobsmacked to see an old World War II Spitfire sitting in the middle of the Square [and I didn't think there was enough space to land one ;-) ]. It appeared you could queue up and pay money to sit in the cockpit and do things like waggle the tail. Suffice to say, I satisfied myself with just taking some pictures. Here you can see the Spitfire, the base of Nelsons Column and then Whitehall and Big Ben far in the background.