Wednesday 13 April 2022

Speaker's House

Today we caught the train to Marylebone Station and hopped on the Santander bikes to Trafalgar Square. After a nice whizz around the Raphael exhibition, and coffee and cake with Susan and Paul we headed for the main event of the day.

On the way there we passed Horse Guard's Parade and were just in time to see the changing of the guard.

Excellent marching and synchronised dismounting of the horses whilst wearing totally impractical boots. However, I was very pleased to see that one of the new guards was a woman. 

Just down the road we reached the Palace of Westminster and saw a very rare phenomenon.

Look very closely and you can see that the clocks tell two different times. This is because the renovations are not quite complete and the final clock needs a bit more work and cleaning before they start it up again.

We had a 2.30pm appointment to visit the Speaker's House inside the Houses of Parliament. It is actually a surprisingly grand and beautiful house hidden away right under the clock tower.

There was only 15 people on our tour and we learned lots of interesting facts about the Speaker, but no photos were allowed. 

For instance, the latest speaker, Sir Lindsay Hoyle, is the 158th Speaker and in the olden days nobody wanted the job as it could be dangerous, particularly if Parliament upset the King of the time. This is why they are ceremonially dragged, possibly kicking and screaming, to the chair, but nowadays they applied for the job, get paid for it, and it is a fantastic place to live.

There was loads of security and armed police everywhere and after a very interesting hour we ended up back on the street outside.

Back on the bikes to the station and a quick train ride home. Good day out. 

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