Monday, January 11, 2010

3.2 the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace

A snow day in London and Waterloo.
I can't get away from it, even in my little cyber fantasy world.

I had planned to offer more about the history of Trafalgar Square, but got side tracked, and now the day is almost done.
so on this day I am going to offer one of my dear secrets.
I don't often give these precious things away, but in this case, it is for children, wether dragged into the crowd, or openly wishing to see the Changing of the guard, this is for them.
While I have always been keenly fond of these brilliant soldiers in their sparkling uniforms, I am not a fan of this event, as there are too many people in too small an area.
But with family in tow, and them very much wanting to go, we headed into the very dense and sprawling crowd that shows up on decent summer days.
I found this a very bad crowd to be stuck in, with an iron bar fence to the west, and a pressing crowd push from the east, I would not go back unless I got there early enough to stake out the one spot that seemed worthy of my time.
That would be on the southern side of the Victoria Monument, securing as much of the elevated portion of that spot as you are able.
Here, one is mostly isolated from the crowd.
The elevation of the monument means you could see the band and troops emerge from the Wellington Barracks, where they usually start out from, and then see them march fairly close to the monument before turning into the parade ground of Buckingham Palace, where they do most of their business. You would think that a spot against the fence is best, and would be if not for that pressing crowd, with children encouraged to push forward, with parents inching in behind them. The process results in a very dense multi layer of humanity obstructing almost everybody's vision. But from the monument, (and I confess that I have not actually made it to that spot), one should be able to see some of the event.
Good Luck
PS - my favorite spot to see this sort of military drill is in the courtyard off Whitehall, at Horse Guards. There is a very civilized deployment and change at 10 AM, just a short distance from Trafalgar Square. The foot guard might actually change first at 9:55. can't remember exactly.

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