Another day, another paradeNovember 14 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ⛅ 9 °C
Amazingly varied day today. We went to the Remembrance Day Parade, which is held on the Sunday closest to November 11, and is often the day after the Lord Mayor’s Show which we saw yesterday, which was fun but frivolous by comparison. Today was totally different - this was a serious ceremonial, with prayers and a hymn at the cenotaph in Whitehall, all the pomp and circumstance of bands and perfect marching, followed by the march of the veterans which lasted for almost 2 hours. We had to go through 2 security checks, and there was a large (and friendly) police presence. It was very moving, especially the 2 minutes silence after Big Ben struck 11 (Big Ben is covered with scaffolding and is not normally striking at all at the moment, but obviously was made to work for this occasion)..the total silence of the enormous crowd was quite overwhelming. The queen was to have been present but at the last minute had a back strain and was not, and Prince Charles laid a wreath. From where we were we did not see him, or Camilla and Kate on the balcony, but we were front row further up Whitehall. While we waited for the 11 o’clock gong, the band played wonderful things - British folk songs that I knew from childhood - the Minstrel Boy, Men of Harlech, as well as Rule Britannia and Nimrod from Elgar’s Enigma Variations…wonderful stuff. After a couple of hours of standing we were pretty cold and stiff!! Very glad to have gone and experienced it all. Like our Anzac Day ceremonies on steroids.
All around Westminster was blocked off for hours so we took the tube to Sloane Square to find a warm place to have some lunch…all busy Sunday morning, and we walked in towards Knightsbridge and found a pizza place which was just right…shared a pizza and a salad and felt revived. Then Amr and I went on to the Victoria and Albert museum, Omnia went back for downtime. We had tickets for a special exhibit on bags in the V and A, and we all met up at 4 which was the allotted time. Quite fun, but I’m not a bags person really - not fancy bags, just practical bags, especially for travelling! So that was good, and afterwards we walked from there to Marble Arch and to find a good Lebanese restaurant on Edgware Road. Had a great meal, a delicious feast, but forgot to take a photo.Read more