Ah, I do love the horses…so I seek them out. They are easy to find in London. On my way to see the Horse Guards I enjoyed the sight of a mounted policeman giving directions to a backpacker. It looks like the horse is joining in the conversation. Good old double-decker bus behind – shows that this could ONLY be London.
If you want to see the changing of the Horse Guards, turn up at Horse Guards Building (Whitehall) before 11.00 weekdays or 10.00 Sundays. (It is just past Trafalgar Square.)
A few minutes before the allotted time, those who are going to ‘change’ come out of the inner courtyard into the parade ground. On this day the Life Guards in their scarlet coats were on their way out.
They stand around in the open drill ground waiting for their replacements to turn up. But it can be a bit boring and a horse can’t help conversing with another horse at a time like this…to the amusement of their riders (which you can discern if you click on the next image to enlarge it).
OK, so I got a bit bored too. I looked at the squirrels in St James Park while I waited for the Life Guards to head back up Horse Guards Road.
It takes about half an hour after the replacements arrive before the horses move off. After Horse Guards Road, they turn into Pall Mall, past Buckingham Palace and return to Kensington Palace Barracks. The light conditions were too dull to get good photos of the Blues and Royals in their dark blue coats so I only show the Life Guards.
Goodbye Life Guards.
However I returned a few days later for another dose of the horses. This time the Blues and Royals were on duty and the Life Guards were on their way to change with them. The three photos below show the Life Guards being escorted TO the parade ground for the changing of the guard. I’m looking back up Horse Guards Road with Nelson’s Column in the distance. What a beautiful police horse…such pride in his face!
Below you can see the Horse Guards Parade and the buildings of Whitehall with the London Eye in the distance. The two police escorts leave the grounds while changing is taking place. These two policemen were talking about what colour shirts they were planning on wearing to a function (white). True story. Anyway, the policemen disappear into St James Park for about 20 minutes then return to escort the changED guards back to their barracks. (Maybe they have a nice cup of tea.)
There go the Blues and Royals, being escorted back to barracks, and there is that lovely grey police horse again. I was very close to Buckingham Palace for the photos below – so that I could photograph the horses as they rode down Pall Mall.
One more horse to finish off. This was in front of Kensington Palace on another day.
The world is a changing place…as jets dash over Queen Victoria…but thank goodness for the constancy of London’s horses.
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