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Wednesday, May 18, 2016

The Queen's Procession to Open Parliament

(Click on the photos for a larger view)
Today was a jolly good British day! In spite of a rainy forecast, I decided to join my running group for a fun outing...a run down to the mall to see the Queen's Procession from Buckingham Palace to the houses of Parliament in order for her to open the new season. The weather wasn't as wet as expected and it was a total blast to be in the center of all this pomp and circumstance! While running through Hyde Park, we began to see the horses lined up and we literally got right in front of the band!
The city looked magnificent all dressed up for the Queen!
We ended up with a great viewing spot and it was fun waiting with all of the other crazy people! The bobby that was near to us was very chatty and nice. Of course, the guards in the bearskin regalia were not allowed to talk at all. They stood at perfect attention, obeying the occasional command that spewed forth. There were hundreds of horses with riders dressed to the hilt. It was so festive and beautiful. Some of the horses were just magnificent. Soon the carriages began making their way down the street. The first carriage held the Imperial State Crown, the magnificent crown that the Queen wore during the ceremony. Cool that it got its own carriage! The crown was originally made for Queen Victoria's coronation in 1838! Love that history. Other carriages came by pulled by magnificent horses. This one is carrying Camilla and Prince Charles. (They drove right past me in a car down to the palace!)
Soon enough these pair of beauties trotted by and we knew the Queen was coming! Her carriage was pulled by six beautiful white horses. The carriage was the Diamond Jubilee State Coach. Prince Philip was with her and was on our side of the street so we didn't get a great glimpse of her but even so, you could totally see her in there! 
Queen Elizabeth has opened Parliament more than 60 times! It was such a treat to be able to experience this up close and personal! We wandered back through the city, past Buckingham Palace when loud canon booms began going off! Apparently these go off when the Queen arrives at Parliament. It went on for a long time and looked like a war reenactment!
Our running group had a blast taking in the scene. I am happy that I didn't pass on taking a jog to Buckingham Palace and catching a glimpse of the royal procession to Parliament. Won't have a chance to do that again soon! Sharing it with my running buddies was icing on the cake.