The U.K. General Elections took place on 7th May 2015 and the State Opening of Parliament 2015 is due to follow on Wednesday 27th May 2015.
This is a fabulous event full of pomp and ceremony, with the Queen and Prince Philip riding by in one of their State Coaches, the State Crown rides in it’s own coach, there are Royal Bands, the Household Cavalry and much else besides and attracts huge crowds that line The Mall, Whitehall and Parliament Square.
What happens during State Opening: State Opening is the main ceremonial event of the parliamentary calendar, beginning with the Queen’s procession from Buckingham Palace to Westminster, escorted by the Household Cavalry watched by a significant television and online audience.
Once the Queen arrives she disappears from sight and all the traditions that surround the State Opening and delivery of the Queen’s speech take place behind closed doors, albeit with televised footage of certain aspects of the many ceremonies.
The traditions surrounding the State Opening and the delivery of a speech by the monarch, can be traced back as far as the 16th century with the current ceremony dating from the opening of the rebuilt Palace of Westminster in 1852 subsequent to the fire of 1834.
The procession of the Monarch from Buckingham Palace to the Palace of Westminster is free to watch, it’s amazing to see and of course you should plan to get there early 😉 as always, it’s very very popular and the streets are soon lined with thousands of spectators. Best places to stand would be along The Mall, Whitehall and the south side of Parliament Square.
Just so you know, if you want to stand n Parliament Square you really must get there early as they close it off once a certain number of people are there. You can gain entry via the traffic lights on the corner next to Westminster Abbey…the west side of the square. For more information about the route click here
The ceremony that goes on behind doors is a fascinating glimpse into the historical traditions of the UK that you can read more about at http://www.parliament.uk/about/how/occasions/stateopening/
After the speech the Queen then returns to Buckingham Palace via the same route along which she arrived, so if you have the time and patience, then you will get to see The Queen and all the dignitaries, the Household Cavalry, the bands, the Crown etc all over again as they return to their respective homes.
It’s a brilliant event, I’ve been twice now and if the weather is good then it’s just wonderful. Do bear in mind that the weather in London is very changeable. Take a brolly and rain gear as it does sometimes suddenly rain.
Nearest tube stations: Westminster & St James’s Park or from across the river; Waterloo Plan your journey: http://www.tfl.gov.uk
While you are there, after the event why not pop in and visit the Supreme Court (free) on the north side of Parliament Square
You can also see Westminster Abbey £, St Margaret’s Church (free), and the Jewel Tower £ (after the ceremonies).
You’re also in walking distance of St James’s Park, Horse Guards Parade and the Churchill War Rooms £ and Banqueting House £
On Birdcage walk is the ever so delightful The Guards Museum http://www.theguardsmuseum.com/ there is a fee for this but it’s a wonderful little museum and ever so worth it.
On Horse Guards Parade is The Household Cavalry Museum http://www.householdcavalrymuseum.co.uk/
Plan your journey: http://www.tfl.gov.uk
remember to download your FREE #3DIL App today
for Android Apps http://bit.ly/3DaysInLondon
for Apple Apps http://bit.ly/3DaysOutInLondon
Connect with me on Social Media where I also post information about events, history and interesting snippets about London
Find me on Twitter
Connect on Facebook
Share your images on Instagram
Connect on Google+