Thursday, October 15, 2009
London: Changing of the Guard
The Changing of the Guard is a brilliant display of pageantry and was fortunate to build into my schedule while there. The parade begins at the St. James Palace where the Queen's Regiment and the drum and pipe band practice their drills then parade to Buckingham for the actual exchange of duty. The Queen's Household Regiment of horses, Scottish, Welsh and Irish wolfhound (at least he represented Ireland on that day) approach from another direction. Most of the guardsmen are on working duty and most have seen active duty in either Afghanistan or Iraq.
When The Queen is in residence, there are four sentries at the front of the building. When she is away there are two.
The crowds begin to gather well before the 11AM parade begins. We couldn't even make it across the street to the statue in front of the palace, the best viewing place because the police had roped off the streets. Thinking the London traffic and cabbies get used to this 'slight' inconvenience!