From Parliament square to Trafalgar square
If you walk from Parliament square to Trafalgar square, you walk along White Hall (government offices, located on either side). In the middle of White Hall you may see the Headquarters of Horseguard. The entry is guarded by two men on horseback. Twice a day you may watch a ceremony called Mounting of the Guard (chnging guards on horseback).
You can also see a short street called Downing street. Number ten in this street has been the house of Prime Minister since 1735. But you can’t get there because it’s separated by a gate.
The name White Hall comes from White Hall Palace. You cannot find it any more because it was damaged by the Great Fire of London. The only part that remained is on the opposite side of the Headquarters of Horseguard and is called Banquetting House. Inside you may admire alegorical ceilings painted by Peter Paul Rubens. There’s also a window from which king Charles I stpped out to his scaffold (execution).
If you walk throuhg St.James’s park, you get to Buckingham Palace. It was built by the duke of Buckingham. Because it has fantastic location, the king George I. purchased this palace for the royal family. But it took many years before the first king of queen resided in it. The first one was queen Victoria.
The royal family occupies the North Wing of Palace, it’s also called State appartments.
If royal standard flies over Buckingham Palace, the queen is in residence.
In front of the palace you may watch changing of the guards. The guardmen wear traditional bearskin (originally it was made of bear skin).
In front of the palace is a famous monument – Queen Victoria’s Monument. It’s a large monument with dominating chair with Queen Victoria on it.
A street that leads from Buckingham Palace to Trafalgar Square is called the Mall. We can find there very exclusive shops and famous gentlemen clubs.