Now if you're a regular reader of my blog you may recall I met the Band of the Blues and Royal last year who gave me a tour of the London Barracks and exclusive access to changing of the guard at Windsor Castle were Trooping the Colour again this year and it was such a great experience photographing them last year I went again.
It's great seeing them coming out of the Knightsbridge Barracks, it certainly helps that there aren't that many people around to see it as they're all down the Mall waiting for the main event to kick off.
So here is one of the fabulous drum horses. I'm pretty certain this is Mercury (though it could be Achilles). The drums are solid silver and boy are they loud! Last year poor Achillies was stung by a bee during the parade and so had to be taken out but all in all they are so patient.
I love the noise of all of those horses walking down the street as well as the visual look which is just stunning.
When they start to play it just takes your breath away! If you look closely you can see my reflection in the drum - not my best side I might add.
Here they are going through Wellington Arch. The greys are always at the back which certainly helps with exposure! But trying to keep up with the band on foot is exhausting as I'm not the fittest of people...
I am finally spotted by one of the cornet players (who is also the person who arranged for me to see them at Windsor Castle last year) trying not to smirk as I think he'd seen I was so hot and sweaty by this point!! I think I may have to start training for next year. Still I got some good shots having kept up with them.
And here they are manoeuvring into position at Canada Gate to waiting to escort her Majesty up to Horse Guards Parade.
So once they were in position I went off up to the Mall to try and get a view. As you can see it was impossible from the Palace.
The Mall was well guarded with both soldiers and the police. The PC near us is normally based in Southwark so was in good company with a fellow South Londoner.
I spotted this guy painting the scene. I think he must have been there for a while.
I was in luck and found a place by the barriers. I got talking to a lovely lady called Jackie and transpires I met her daughter ten years ago in a brief encounter in Seattle USA before a Manchester United match (least there were too many coincidences for it not to be her). Anyway we had a perfect view of the horses coming back down the Mall from Horse Guards parade. Here are the horses which accompany the gun carriages.
My shot of Cate this year would have been fantastic if she was looking my way!! Annoying!
And the Duke of Kent didn't help my view of Her Majesty with his sword in the way!
But this year I managed to spot Prince Charles
AND Prince William with Princess Anne. Yep I only knew as I'd seen them on the TV last year, I mean when then come past you don't immediately think it's Charles or William, you just think it's another bloke with a big hat on!!
Here come the boys in their full glory!
Followed by the amazing formation of the marching soldiers
It was another fabulous day! I just love the pomp and ceremony. Hoping to see more over the Summer if I can. Watch this space.