Wednesday, 10 July 2013

London 2013 Part 3.......

When we booked our trip to London we didn't realise that a great British event was due to take place on the Saturday, Trooping the Colour!  Of course once we realised, our sightseeing plans changed.  

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.
This soldier is a member of The Grenadier Guards, you can tell by the buttons on his tunic which are a single row and a grenade on his collar.   The five regiments who take part in Trooping The Colour all have a different arrangement of buttons on their tunics, see 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.

There were also mounted police on duty.

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.

and another band

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.

Then more of the Household Cavalry.

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

 onto Piccadilly, passing The Ritz

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 Museum
This was in the grounds

Inside the museum, can you see me?
We headed for the dinosaur exhibition, we did take some photographs but it was quite dark so they didn't turn out so well but here a couple that you can just make out.

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. 


Ron said...

Wow! What a super post!

LOVED the photo of you standing next to one of the guards!!

And I know it must have been utterly exciting to see the Royal family because just seeing them through these photos was faaaaaabulous!

And of course, I clicked to see all your photos enlarged; trying so hard to get a peek at the Queen, but're right, you can't see her.

Both the exterior and interior of the museum are just spectacular!

Thanks so much for sharing your trip with us, m'dear!

Thoroughly enjoyed seeing London through your eyes!


Adam said...

wonderful photos

CrystalChick said...

Oh my, this trip just gets better and better! How cool is it that you got to be there while all that was going on. A parade like that would be worth watching.
Yes, I'm from the U.S., but I love the Royals!!

And a museum, too! That sounds equally as fun.

Thank you for sharing this amazing London adventure. Yes, I enjoyed it. :)

Cloudia said...

God save the Queen

and YOU!

ALOHA from Honolulu
Comfort Spiral
~ > < } } ( ° >

Beach Bum said...

This was an incredible post! Like I commented in the previous post, my family and I are planning a trip to London, your posts make me want to go even more.

Valerie said...

Great to see it all again. Thanks, Pearl. I used to love watching the guards marching. It made me feel quite sentimental and patriotic. Even watching your videos made me well up!

MorningAJ said...

I've really enjoyed your trip to London - almost as much as ours back in May! I like Green Park. It always seems very peaceful to me, compared with other London parks. And there's a wonderful 'fountain' near the Palace end that's dedicated to Canadian soldiers who died in two world wars.

Banker Chick said...

How exciting! We were lucky to see the changing of the guard, when we were there. I would have loved to be in London for any of the Queen's anniversary year, events.

Akelamalu said...

I'm so glad you enjoyed seeing our Royals Ron, did you manage to play the videos and hear the bands?

Thanks Adam :)

Oh yes Crystal Chick we were so lucky to be there just at the right time. So pleased you enjoyed our trip.

Thankyou on behalf of The Queen and me Cloudia xx

If you wait until next June Beach you could catch trooping the colour too! :)

Oh I know what you mean Valerie I was welling-up watching the parade, they all look so smart and the bands are wonderful.

I'm so pleased you enjoyed our trip as much as I enjoyed reading about yours AJ xx

Changing of the Guard is another great event which I saw some years ago. London always has something exciting to offer BankerChick :)

Secret Agent Woman said...

What a spectacle! I can understand why you'd shift your lans to see that.

Akelamalu said...

The opportunity was too good to miss SAW.

Daryl said...

loved it .. and the little videos were a delight to view. thanks for sharing!

Mimi Lenox said...

OH MY GOSH OH MY GOSH OH MY GOSH (sorry for shouting) You really did see the HRH!! You really did. I knew this was the suitcase trip I would need more batteries for my camera! (If you'd only opened the lid I could have seen her myself.)

I'll just be sulking now.

Ranch Chimp said...

Great picture's and bring's back ole memories, I love Londontown and had alot of fond memories of there! Thanx

Thomas Hudson Pickering

"Politically Depressed" the Ranch Chimp Journal

Jenny Woolf said...

Funny, I have lived in London all these years and I don't believe I ever saw trooping the Colour. I have often seen the band marching near the Mall though and it's an inspiring sight.

Flowerpot said...

I feel as if I was there!

Travis Cody said...

That's so cool. I'm fascinated by all the protocols and traditions of the Royals.

Maggie May said...

Those parades are fantastic and I never get fed up with watching soldiers marching and playing music in their red coats and busbies!
Maggie x

Nuts in May

Akelamalu said...

My pleasure Daryl x

I only caught a quick glimpse of Her Majesty Mimi, sorry I was sitting on the suitcase and you couldn't get out. ;) xx

I'm happy to be able to bring good memories to you Ranch Chimp :)

We didn't get to Horse Guards Parade to see the actual Trooping the Colour unfortunately Jenny but were thrilled to be able to see the parade down The Mall. :)

That's good Flowerpot, that's what I intended. xx

Me too Trav :)

I love them too Maggie, I always want to march along. :)