Trooping the Colour
On 15th June, Cubs and Scouts from the 8th Gillingham Scout Group and Explorers from the Agathoid Explorer Unit ventured to London to wish the Her Majesty The Queen a very happy birthday, and to witness the Trooping of the Colour parade.
We had an early start, brightened by the prospect of glancing the Royal family, and were soon in the youth stand on Horseguards Parade. Surrounded by other Scouts, Guides and members of other youth organisations from all over the country, we eagerly awaited our first glimpse of the Regiments.
In the distance, we could hear the oncoming beating drums of the mounted bands, a sure sign that the Cavalry were on the way. The procession was soon in full swing. Members of the Household Cavalry and Foot Guards marched into Horseguards parade, accompanied by the mesmerising music of their bands.
As the cheers and screams got closer, so did the Royal family. All 20 members of the 8th Gillingham and Agathoid Explorers eagerly awaited their arrival, and we were not disappointed. Before long, the Royal Family including Her Majesty The Queen passed in front of the grinning faces and excited waves from the youth stand.
After the inspection of the troops by Her Majesty, the Royal Family left Horseguards Parade to return to Buckingham Palace. As fast as we were allowed, we hurried along the Mall. The boom of a 41 gun salute from the Royal Horse Artillery brought a spot of rain, but certainly didn’t dampen our spirits. The Royal Family emerged magnificently onto the balcony of Buckingham Palace, with the Royal Standard (flag) flying above them. The flypast soon began including Chinook helicopters, Spitfires and finally the Red Arrows decorated the sky with red white and blue smoke over the Palace.
Negotiating the crowds, we went on a whistle-stop tour of London. We peeked at 10 Downing Street, gazed at the architecture of Westminster Abbey, blinked at the London Eye and bowed to Big Ben before returning to charming Charing Cross to catch our train home.
An exhausting and enjoyable day which will be remembered for a long time to come!
8th Gillingham Scout Group