The London Trip
St. James Park, Buckingham Palace and the Punishment Parade
With plenty of time before dinner at NOPI and plenty of sightseeing choices, we headed towards St. James Royal Park, a walk’s distance from where we were staying.
As we happily meandered through the old narrow streets of London towards our destination, we came upon a medieval fortress right out of the history books. In fact, it captured our attention enough for us to latch onto the tour group in front of it. Turns out it is called St. James’s Palace.
The next major stop on the tour was Buckingham Palace. As we stood in front of the majestic sight, the tour guide told us what we later learned is every tour guide’s favorite story – the 1982 Michael Fagan incident – where a down on his luck inebriated Brit broke into the Palace, no less the bedroom of the Queen … a huge security breach with major staff restructuring repercussions.
Soon enough it was time to head back towards Leicester Square and change for NOPI. On the route back, passing by yet another historic manor we saw batches of people heading towards an opening in the place. We couldn’t help but to veer off to see what all the fuss was about.
Turns out it was time for the “The Four ‘O’ Clock Parade” ceremony (there’s no shortage of parades in London). We made it just in time to squeeze into a spot with a partially unobstructed view. Showtime!
Also called the “Dismounting Ceremony” and “Punishment Parade”, this ritual takes place at 4 pm, or 16:00 hours, in the courtyard in front of the “Horse Guards” building facing Whitehall road in the City of Westminster.