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London Trooping the Colour - join in or stay away?

London Trooping the Colour - join in or stay away?

Apr 8th, 2006, 07:10 AM
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London Trooping the Colour - join in or stay away?

Trooping the colour this year- what's it like for the average tourist? Will it be so crazy I should just stay away (I'm staying in Westminster, may need to visit other parts of London that day), or should I stay and see it?

As that day (17 june) will be the tail end of my trip, I may be content to hole up somewhere near the festivities and wait all day for a chance to see the Queen. Any good viewing areas to do this? How early should I get there to stake my claim?
ecolszewski is offline  
Apr 8th, 2006, 08:23 AM
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When we did it we waited about 2-3 hrs along the palace road. We were talking to a bobby that was on duty and had a fun time. I wouldn't do it again but it was fun to see all of the royals in one shot. We did get close up shots of the queen and the queen mum, Charles, Phillip, Anne etc. We even waited to see them on the balcony of the palace waving to the crowd.
jay is offline  
Apr 8th, 2006, 10:32 AM
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You can't see the main event (other than on TV), as it's by invitation only.

What you could see would be the processions to and from Horse Guards Parade and the Palace - a bit of hanging around in the park for a few minutes' glimpse of the top half of the procession. The crowds are not usually that great, though possibly there might be more this year since it's the Queen's 80th birthday year.
PatrickLondon is offline  
Apr 8th, 2006, 10:40 AM
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Clicked too soon!

I wouldn't say "crazy" in the sense that of crowds too big and unmanageable to stop you getting anywhere. It only involves the Palace, the Mall and Horse Guards Parade. Anywhere else you would hardly know it's happening.

Apart from the processions (from the Palace to Horse Guards about 10.45am, and back again just after noon), the main events are the gun salute in Green Park at noon, and the fly-past up the Mall and the Queen appearing on the Palace balcony to wave at the crowds outside, such as they may be (at 1pm).

Anywhere along the Mall is as good as anywhere else to watch the procession, anywhere along the Palace frontage is probably as good as anywhere else for the flypast and balcony appearance - watch the crowds to see how thick they are getting.
PatrickLondon is offline  
Apr 8th, 2006, 10:53 AM
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Is a "fly-past" what we Americans would call a "fly-by"? If so, what kind of aircraft? Jets?
ecolszewski is offline  
Apr 8th, 2006, 01:25 PM
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I assume fly-past and fly-by are the same. The RAF gets together a group of its snazziest planes to fly in formation up the Mall towards the Palace, to arrive at 1pm (I don't know how they co-ordinate with the people inside to make sure they don't get there too soon or too late).

Here are some photos from the unit that's done it for the last couple of years:

I was once on a bus going up the Kings Road in Chelsea, which is more or less directly on the flypath from the Mall onwards. There was a bunch of visitors from a certain large country sitting in the front seats on the upper deck, when this large delta-wing bomber and accompanying fighters came straight towards us at a pretty low altitude. That was quite entertaining....
PatrickLondon is offline  
Apr 8th, 2006, 04:13 PM
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Great info Patrick. Thanks so much. Thanks for the pictures, too. I love jets. Can't wait to see some RAF ones in action (or inaction really).
ecolszewski is offline  
Apr 8th, 2006, 10:31 PM
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Trooping the Colour is the formal celebration of the Queen's official birthday. Since this year is, as Patrick says, her 80th real one it's possible there'll be the odd twist to some bits: the most likely change could be the fly-past, which isn't always just the RAF's snazziest planes ( pretty much the same as the USAF's snazziest, only ten years later).

Candidates typically include the RAF's best displays (the planes the Red Arrows use are nothing to write home about, but they're put through their paces very photogenically), or the handful of sexy old planes that still work: Spitfires, Hurricanes and WW" bombers.

Incidentally, the Trooping the Colour Rehearsal exactly 7 days earlier has just the same bands, colour and ceremony. All that's missing is Her Maj herself and a lot of the crowds. It's even possible. if you get there early and stand in Horse Guards Road, to see quite a lot of the ceremony itself - though that's a great deal better on TV.

CotswoldScouser is offline  
Apr 9th, 2006, 01:04 AM
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Come to think of it, they'll probably try and rustle up enough planes to make an "80" formation.

But it's not the same since the Queen stopped leading the parade on horseback - riding sidesaddle.
PatrickLondon is offline  
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