I love some pageantry!
This morning was the official celebration of the Queen's birthday, the Trooping of the Colour. I set off bright and early (well 8.45am, I'm on holidays!) to Buckingham Palace. I had been once before so had some idea of timing and what to expect.
Despite some prior knowledge I didn't end up making a good decision, particularly the all important one, of where to stand and watch. On my one previous time I had gone to The Mall to stand behind the barriers there, but the Queen Victoria monument was in the way of seeing Buckingham Palace and the carriages leaving and entering. Plus, even getting there just after 9am, you were relegated to standing behind those already at the barriers. So, upon exiting Green Park, I saw space at the barrier in front of Buckingham Palace on the righthandside (facing the palace). I positioned myself there thinking I would have a good view.It wasn't the best choice as I was quite far back from the road, last time even though I wasn't right on the barrier, I could poke my arm and camera through to get some photos, this time my photos contain lots of parts of people!
The actual Trooping the Colour happens at Horse Guards Parade, so the part we see is the royals and the soldiers marching (or riding) down to the parade grounds.
This made me laugh, those people thought they were in a good position and then 4 horses and soldiers parked themselves right in front!
This too, the whole band obscured this section of the crowd's view!
This is the only good carriage photo I managed to take. The others all had people obscuring those in the carriages. Or parts of the carriage did, the one photo of the Queen I took, she's got the carriage lamp-post hiding her face! The carriages go past quite quickly so it's not possible to set up to take multiple pictures.
Charles, William and Anne don't ride in the carriages but instead are on horseback the entire time.
When the Trooping of the Colour is over, the royals all come back to the palace and make their first balcony appearance, the Queen is reviewing the troops down below with Charles, William and Anne still with her on horseback. (Prince Philip is in the carriage with her)
On the balcony, from left to right are:
Zenouska Mowett (Princess Alexandra's granddaughter), Julia Olgilvy, (Princess Alexandra's daughter-in-law) Princess Alexandra, Prince Andrew, Duchess of Cambridge, Duchess of Cornwall, Prince Harry, Princess Beatrice, Princess Eugenie. (Yes I do know this stuff!)
The royals, this time with the Queen make another balcony appearance at 1pm when the RAF flyover happens, and this year was Prince George's first appearance but I missed it! I left after the first appearance to meet my friends for lunch.
Incase anyone wants to see this bit of pageantry at some stage. Here's some useful bits of information.
- best place to stand are the barriers on The Mall
- get there early, 9am or before
- the soldiers start moving after 10am, the royals from 10.30am
- the royals return to Buckingham Palace just after 12noon and there's a balcony appearance
- 1pm they all come onto the balcony to see the flypass
Both occasions I've been I've taken something to read to fill in the waiting time, people around usually are quite chatty as well. Especially as everyone is a tourist, all have their tourist story to tell!