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Westminster Abbey (Collegiate Church of St Peter, Parliament Square) - part one

The musicians

Animals

Red deer antler heddress

Painted terracotta sarcophagus of Seianti Hanunia Tlesnasa

Rickmansworth

Portobello Road, 1904 - 2009

Marble panel from the grave of Muhammad b. Fatik Ashmuli

Bronze gui

London bridge (part three)

Kew Railway Bridge

Calcite-alabaster stela

Pipe in the form of an otter

Gilded wooden figure of a goat

William Hogarth (1697-1764), Gin Lane

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The Sovereign's Birthday ParadeThe Birthday Parade usually includes six Guards of the Foot Guards, each comprising 3 Officers and 70 other ranks. Nos. 1 to 5 Guards form up on the west side of Horse Guards Parade facing Horse Guards Archway, while No. 6 Guard forms up at right angles to the other five. The Massed Bands, Pipes and Drums of the Household Division form up in front of the garden of No. 10 Downing Street. The Queen's Colour is then posted in front of No. 6 Guard. The parade is dressed and, when the line is formed, the officers fall in.

At 11 a.m. The Queen arrives from Buckingham Palace, attended by the Royal Procession and escorted by the Sovereign's Escort of the Household Cavalry. As Her Majesty arrives at the Saluting Base, she is received with a Royal Salute, the Bands playing the National anthem.
Trooping the ColourEvery year, in June, on the day chosen as the Sovereign's Official Birthday, Horse Guards Parade witnesses a ceremony which has been described as the greatest parade of all. This is the Sovereign's Birthday Parade, or the ceremony of Trooping the Colour in the presence of Her Majesty The Queen, the Colonel-in-Chief of all seven Regiments of the Household Division. However, few of the many millions of people who watch the ceremony annually fully appreciate the original purpose of a basically simple exercise, which has since become overlaid with the splendour of a major State occasion. In the early days of land warfare, flags or Colours were used by military leaders as rallying or assembly points for their followers in battle. As the organization of military forces became more complex, sub-units of the main force, such as the company, began to have their own distinguishing device, although, from about the beginning of the 18th century, battalion Colours mostly replaced company Colours.
Changing the Guard at Buckingham PalaceAt 11 a.m., the St James's Palace detachment of the Old Guard forms up in Friary Court at St James's Palace. After inspection by the Captain of The Queen's Guard, the Drummers beat the call 'The Point of War' as the Colour is brought on.

Then, led by their Corps of Drums, the St James's detachment marches off via Stable Yard Gate and proceeds along The Mall to Buckingham Palace.

Meanwhile the Buckingham Palace detachment of the Old Guard falls in and is inspected. The detachment then marches to the centre of the Palace Forecourt to await the arrival of the remainder of the Old Guard.
Changing the GuardFrom the reign of Henry VII until the Civil War, the responsibility of guarding the person of the Sovereign rested with the Body Guard of the Yeomen of the Guard. During the Civil War, Charles I was guarded by loyal troops, while Charles II, when in exile, was protected by his Life Guards. From the Restoration onwards, the daily protection of the Sovereign became increasingly the duty of The Life Guards and the three original Regiments of Foot Guards, and it still remains the responsibility of the Household Division. Today, The Queen has a number of homes, both official and private. However, it is only at the London palaces and at Windsor and Edinburgh Castles that a guard is mounted.
The Welsh GuardsThe Welsh Regiment of Foot Guards was formed on 26 February 1915 by order of His Majesty King George V. The number of Welshmen transferring from other Regiments made it possible for the 1st Battalion to mount Guard at Buckingham Palace three days later on St David's Day.

Following six months of intensive training, the 1st Battalion fought their first battle at Loos on 27 September 1915, and fought in France and Flanders for the rest of the First World War as part of the Guards Division.
The Irish Guards
We're not so old in the Army List
But we're not so young at our trade
For we had the honour at Fontenoy
Of meeting the Guard's Brigade.

From a poem, 'The Irish Guards', by Rudyard Kipling,
whose son was killed in the Irish Guards in 1915.
The Scots GuardsThe Scots Guards have loyally and successfully served the Crown for many years, since the Regiment was first raised as a personal bodyguard for Charles I in 1642. In March of that year Charles issued a Commission addressed to Archibald, 1st Marquess of Argyll, authorizing him to raise 'a Royal Regiment of our Scottish Subjects, consisting of the number of Fifteen Hundred men'.

The Regiment was sent to Ireland, but neither the King nor Argyll went with them. Instead the marquess appointed a cousin as commander in the field, and this custom of having a prince of the Blood or a distinguished soldier as Colonel, and a Lieutenant Colonel Commanding responsible for the active command of the whole Regiment, has remained.
The Coldstream GuardsThe Coldstream Guards were raised in 1650 on the orders of Oliver Cromwell to form Colonel Monck's Regiment of Foot. They took their place in the ranks of the 'New Model Army', Britain's first regular force.

For the next ten years the Regiment served with distinction and in 1660 they were still with Monck, and quartered in the small town of Coldstream on the English/ Scottish border. By 1660 Cromwell had been dead for two years, Parliamentary rule had become autocratic, and life had become marked by continual political upheavals. London was the centre of most of the unrest, and in January 1660 General Monck marched his troops to the capital and set about restoring order.
The Grenadier GuardsIn 1656 Charles II, while in exile, raised a Regiment from his followers at Bruges. It was called the 'Royal Regiment of Guards' and the King appointed Lord Wentworth as the first colonel.

On the King's return to the Throne he disbanded the old Parliamentarian army and commissioned Colonel John Russell to raise another Regiment of twelve companies for his personal protection.
The Blues and RoyalsIn 1969 The Royal Horse Guards (The Blues) were amalgamated with the Royal Dragoons (1st Dragoons) to form a new Regiment in the Household Cavalry, known as The Blues and Royals.

The Royal Horse Guards (the Blues) were directly descended from the Regiment of Horse raised by Cromwell in 1650. With the Restoration, King Charles II took the Regi¬ment for his own, styling it 'The Royal Regiment of Horse'. Although forced to hand in its Standards in December 1660 by Par¬liamentary agitation for the disbandment of the army, the further threat to the monarchy changed the situation and Charles signed the birth certicate of the modern British Army in 1661. The new Regiment was to be com¬manded by Aubrey de Verre, Earl of Oxford.