Wednesday, February 18, 2009

London: Thursday at Buckingham Palace

Journal for Thursday, Feb 4, London morning

Now, if you go to London, it's practically a mortal sin to not see the changing of the guards at Buckingham Palace. So we tried, and tried. The ceremony occurs on alternate days, and the (imaginary) Big Snow wiped out a couple of days. Thursday morning, our last day, we awoke to drizzly rain, and I worried that this would stop it as well.

Our hotel proprietor assured me, not without some pride, that it would occur today, and that ran would not stop them. "They're our MILITIA after all; rain shouldn't bother them."

So we trekked through the Tube to the area, my camera protected by my umbrella and a plastic bag, and got to the gates.

Some of us tourists asked the guards if the ceremony would occur, and they basically wouldn't answer. I understand that the guys in the cool hats won't talk to us, but I was pretty sure these people could if they wanted to.

Pretty horses, though.

Eventually, guards must have gotten some kind of word, because they started telling everyone to "move along", and "quit standing here in the rain; there's not going to be a changing of the guard ceremony," and some general, "keep moving."

But then there were these guys at least moving along in a line. Not doing much impressive, except wearing their fluffy hats, just crossing the area close to the doors of Buckingham Palace.


And then these guys, in spiffy finery, entered the area, rode in one circle, and then left.



Huh? I'm not exactly sure what we saw. When I got back home, I picked up a DVD from our local library, Rick Steve's Great Britain, and watched the ceremony. It was definitely much more impressive than what we saw, so I seriously doubt that we did see any "changing of the guard." So much for the militia. . . .


This was probably my least favorite of the four days in London, except for the absolute, over-the-top, sheer delight of finally getting to see Wicked in the evening!

Here, Brian, Dianna and Emily, after laughing about the non-event, are reconsidering options for the day.

12 comments:

Barb said...

Very cool pictures! That's not something you would see here.

Amy said...

Looks pretty cool though, those horses are sure pretty! How was Wicked, need I even ask??? I think you saw the same Elphaba we saw in NY, Kerry Ellis. If so, wasn't she amazing???

Michelle said...

Great pics even if you didn't get to see the changing of the guard. I love seeing London thru your lens--so fascinating.

Diana said...

great shots. Yep youre still making me want to go and visit

Jena Photography said...

Very interesting. Great photos. TFS!

Jeanne said...

So much for their MILITIA! Heck, they got sidelined by imaginary snow AND rain! What does that say? LOL

Great shots of what they DID do. But I can understand why it wouldn't have been your favorite time.

Reds said...

Too bad you didn't see the changing of the guards - but still love to see those guards!! TFS!

Nicki, said...

You still got some excellent shots (rain and wussie guards and all). Getting ready to go to NYC with my DH and school mates; and Wicked is part of the itinerary (can't wait!!).

pat said...

Oh wow--love the complete over-the-top pomp of those uniforms. Can you imagine the work of getting all those red capes spread out over the horses' rears? I can't get over the incredibly ornate detail on the fence and gate, either. Didn't you LOVE "Wicked"? It is one of my favorites.

Suzy said...

These are some of my favorite pix to see! How cool!!

Mandy said...

Buckingham palace is just a beautiful place. I cannot get over how shiny all of the gold {I think that is what it is} plating is. Amazing. I love seeing the guards too! They have so much pomp and beauty all on their own.

Maria said...

Very cool pictures. The uniforms are so bright in contrast to the dreary weather.