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CAPH52 Mar 12th, 2009 10:53 AM

Trooping the Colour
Thanks to evecolorado's post on another thread, I now know that my son and I will be in London for this event this year. And I'm very excited about it. But also mildly worried.

I googled and read up a bit. And I gather we should be able to get a view in St. James Park or along the parade route? How early do we need to stake out a spot?

And how much difference will the crowds make in our ability to do other sightseeing that day? As cool as I think it'll be to see the Trooping of the Color, we're only going to be in London for three full days... Would we be better off to watch it and then head to another area of the city for the day?

However, if we can manage to get a view, I figure we can cross the Changing of the Guard and/or the Horse Guards off of our list!

janisj Mar 12th, 2009 11:14 AM

IMO you could cross the changing of the Guard and Horse Guards off your list in any case - either are fine but not worth a special trip w/ you have such limited time. Especially the Changing of the Guard - a REAL time hog.

I haven't been to the Trooping for many years so not sure how early you'd have to arrive to get a front row spot along the route. There have been a couple of threads about it - and since the search function actually works now, you should be able to find them. But again - it will take quite a bit of time out of your already limited visit.

As for disrupting other areas/sites - not so much. A few blocks away from Horseguards and the Palace, and you'd not know anything extraordinary was going on.

flygirl Mar 12th, 2009 11:44 AM

I did the "Changing of the Guard" on my very first visit to London in 1993 and in fact partly because I had just arrived and had to kill time to get into my room.

I checked it out again this most recent trip solely because I wanted to get some really great shots of the pomp and circumstance of it all - love the red uniforms! In the winter the Queen's Guard wear their grey overcoats but the Life Guards (cavalry) are in the beautiful vermilion capes. (The "Colour" does not refer to the color red, it refers to the flag - but you already knew that!)

I ended up just watching maybe 20 mins of the parade before taking off and visiting the Queen's Gallery. I did get some great shots though! (still haven't sorted them out fully).

It's one of those things you do once and don't have to do again. Not sure I'd make a special trip for a short visit unless you've been to London several times before and aren't missing out on something else. I guess you could put it on "the list" of options and see how the day feels when it arrives (that's what I usually do).

flygirl Mar 12th, 2009 11:47 AM

ps. Since it sounds like you will be there during the Queen's official birthday celebrations, you could look up other events they will have as part of that celebration - those may be more interesting?

CAPH52 Mar 12th, 2009 12:13 PM

Thanks, Janis! Good to know that it'll have little impact elsewhere in London. I'll look for those other threads you mentioned.

I've actually been to the Changing of the Guard before and probably wouldn't go out of my way to do it again. But my son hasn't. Not sure how much he cares!

But the chance to see the parade with the Queen actually in it seems too good to pass up. And it'd also give us a chance to see St. James Park and walk by Buckingham Palace. I think maybe the trick might be to try to line up fairly near the beginning of the parade so that we can see it and then move on. I'm not interested in seeing the ceremony. Would just like to see the Queen and Guard pass by. Wonder if that's feasible?

Thanks to you too, flygirl!

flygirl Mar 12th, 2009 12:25 PM

Hi again

This was winter, which changes EVERYTHING - but, a good viewing location is on top of the monument right in front of the Palace gates - it's a "high point" so you can see more. I'm betting that will be quite popular in summer but again, is it worth it to stake it out for a lengthy time?

Where are you staying again? The morning I did this I walked from my hotel in Bloomsbury all the way to the horse guards and then on to Buckingham Palace - probably two miles (can you tell I like to walk? My entire four day trip saw very few tube rides, mostly walking).

I'll get my act together soon and post photos from the trip...

CAPH52 Mar 12th, 2009 12:32 PM

Thanks, flygirl! As I understand it, the parade goes from the Palace down Pall Mall to Whitehall. So we don't necessarily need to have a view of the Palace. Just somewhere not too far from the beginning rather than having to arrive early and then wait for the parade to get to us.

We're staying at the Holiday Inn Express Earl's Court. So it'll take us a while to get in. And it's our first full day. So I'm thinking we might start there and then do the hop on-hop off bus. But we've got plenty of time to work on it!

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