We were up early for breakfast, wanting to get the first off-peak train to Green Park, the nearest tube station to where we wanted to go to watch the parade. We arrived at Green Park station and made our way down St. James Street, towards St. James's Palace in Pall Mall. St. James's Palace is one of London's oldest palaces and was commissioned by Henry VIII, on the site of a former leper hospital dedicated to St. James the Less, from which the palace and its nearby park retain their names; the hospital was disbanded in 1532.
Of course I just had to join all the tourists and have my pic taken with one of the guards.
here for others.
We made our way down Marlborough Road onto The Mall, the road running from Buckingham Palace at its western end to Admiralty Arch and on to Trafalgar Square at its eastern end, where we found a great spot at the corner of Marlborough Road and The Mall. to watch the procession of soldiers making their way to Horse Guard's Parade for Trooping The Colour before Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, in honour of her official birthday. Horse Guards Parade was formerly the site of the Palace of Whitehall's tiltyard, where tournaments (including jousting) were held in the time of Henry VIII. It was also the scene of annual celebrations of the birthday of Queen Elizabeth I. There were lots of police, armed and unarmed, on duty on the Mall, plus Grenadier Guards, who weren't Trooping The Colour that day.
We didn't have to wait too long before the first troops appeared playing and marching down The Mall.
Then the Royals in their carriages. First Prince Harry, Kate (Prince William's wife) and Camilla (Prince Charles' wife).
Then Prince Andrew with his daughters Beatrice and Eugenie.
Then Prince Edward with his wife Sophie and daughter Louise.
Then the Sovereign's Escort of the Household Cavalry, made up of Life Guards and Blues and Royals, in their silver and gold breastplates and plumed helmets.
preceding The Queen's carriage.
Unfortunately you can't see The Queen but you can just see The Duke of Kent, who accompanied her because her husband, The Duke of Edinburgh, was in hospital.
Following The Queen's carriage on horseback were the Prince of Wales (Prince Charles) , who is Colonel of the Welsh Guards, the Princess Royal (Princess Anne), who is Colonel of the Blues and Royals, and the Duke of Cambridge (Prince William), who is Colonel of the Irish Guards.
Unfortunately we couldn't go to Horse Guard's Parade and see the actual Trooping The Colour as it's tickets only, but we were so thrilled to be amongst the crowds watching the parade. A lot of people stayed on The Mall to await the return parade but we had other things we wanted to see, so we walked back up St. James Street
to Green Park Station where we caught the tube to South Kensington to The Natural History Museum, where we had lunch. The museum is one of three large museums on Exhibition Road, the others being the Science Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum.
The Natural History MuseumThis was in the grounds
Inside the museum, can you see me?
We spent quite a long time in the museum, by which time we were really tired, so we headed back to the tube station and made our way back to the Leinster Arms, near our hotel, for a meal before retiring for the night, ready for leaving the following morning for our journey home.
I hope you've enjoyed our London Trip.