On our previous visit to London we walked past Buckingham Palace and took a photo or two. However, I found it the building quite featureless and bleak.
We did not consider watching the changing of the guard as, by all accounts, it is very crowded and you have to arrive well ahead of time in order to get a decent view. I felt that our three days in the height of summer could be better spent.
However, after doing plenty of research we decided to take a look yesterday. We arrived about 45 minutes before the procession was due to begin and found that there were already some people milling around outside the palace gates and on the steps of the Victoria Memorial. There was plenty of clear space at the railings so we chose our spot and settled in.
It was a clear and sunny autumn day and the crowds built up to the extent that they were several people deep in front of the palace railings by the time the ceremony began.
We were rewarded with perfect views of the entire proceedings on the forecourt.
The guard in front of his sentry box.
The Old Guard ready and waiting.
The New Guard arrive.
The Changing of the Guard.
The band depart.
Back to work.
I am glad I had the opportunity to witness the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace and I offer the following observations:
It is worth arriving early to ensure a spot where can get a good view.
Be prepared to be squashed against the railings.
Standing on the concrete pavement and pressed against the iron railings in 6C temperature is COLD – even when rugged up, including scarf, mittens and beanie.
It is something I have seen and done – ticked off the list and have no need to repeat the experience.
And the final word from the poetry of A A Milne………
Next, we moved on to something slightly more egalitarian. An exhibition titled, ‘North: Fashioning Identity’ at Somerset House which we found interesting and at times, thought-provoking.
Just to remind us of the season, there is an outdoor skating rink and large Christmas tree in the courtyard of Somerset House.