"Coronation Street"

Trip Start Sep 22, 2012
Trip End Oct 19, 2012

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Flag of United Kingdom  , England,
Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Over the cooler months, the Changing of The Guards occurs every second day which impacts on our limited timetable... And it can be cancelled on very wet days - without advance warning. There is a Facebook page for the event, but it doesn't post this news, presumably as a security measure.

Indeed, there seems to be increased security around Buckingham Palace this morning. Mounted police and plenty of bobbies on foot directing pedestrians. One scoots across the road illegally and is collected by a van. An ambulance in the middle of the circuit necessitates a Plan B approach for the guards. A couple of cyclists are shooed away. One who questions this is told his bike could be a terrorist threat.

Two varieties of guards in their red jackets and and bearskin hats march into the palace forecourt accompanied by their bands and mounted guards. Forty-five minutes of pomp and ceremony see the event over and we walk alongside the palace to Bomber Command - a recently unveiled memorial to airmen lost in the wars - and then onto Westminster Abbey. Ian challenges us to beat him... He walk to the abbey while we catch the train two stations/one change. He wins by 12 minutes (apparently.)

There is no afternoon vestry-guided tour, but the free audio tour is informative and l take my time exploring. Last time's visit didn't include the ornate Lady Chapel behind the high altar, and l suspect l missed the Chapter House last time too. Grandma works out where coronation and wedding processions go and Ian visualises where Pippa once stood as her bottom first came to notice...
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