After a busy few days on exercise with the French exchange students, we headed to London. We had a fairly early start, in order to ensure that we arrived in time to watch the changing of the guards from the balcony of Wellington Barracks. We were greeted and taken to the Officer’s Mess, which was a huge privilege, where we were served refreshments before the parade began. From the balcony we had prime viewing of everything that was happening on the parade square, so could see all of the drill and how pristine all of the uniforms were. This was an honour as not many people will have seen the parade from that position, and it was a brilliant opportunity to show our French partners a British military parade.
After watching the changing of the guards, we went to the Guards Chapel to see the standards that had been laid to rest and the memorial plaques that commemorate the sacrifice that men and women who died whilst serving the armed forces had made. From here, we moved on to have lunch at Prezzos and then to the Household Cavalry Museum where we spent the majority of the afternoon. At the Household Cavalry Museum we used audio guides, in both French and English, to learn more about how their role has changed overtime and about how the different uniforms identify between the regiments that they belong to. After everyone had looked around the museum, we watched the final inspection of the day take place as the guards changed. We were stood fairly near the front of the crowd so could see what was going onOnce the changing of the guards had finished, we went to the London Eye. The view was fantastic as it was nearly sunset, so on one side as we went up everything was still in daylight, and as we came down we could see the lights of London as it was just getting dark.
Overall, everyone had a great day, and got to do things that we wouldn’t normally get to do whilst in London.
Hannah, Alanbrooke 17e