London military guards the castle

London military guards the castle

This pin commemorates Buckingham Palace and the Guards in London. They do know how to do ceremonies in London. Recently I met Lt. Col. (ret.) Graham Jones, who has had major music direction responsibilities for ceremonies at the palace and other places for the Royal Family. Lt-Col-Graham-Jones-Senior-Director-of-Music-Household-Division-226x300He gave a series of talks aboard the Queen Mary II on his experiences. He is shown to the right, and also below center, conducting.

I was lucky to have, by chance, a table with Col. Jones and his wife, the first morning of our sailing from Southampton. At the time I did not know who he was. When I raved on and on about enjoying the Edinburgh Tattoo, he mentioned he had been director of music for Tattoo the years I attended it. What a cordial person he is!Lt-Col-Graham-Jones-centre-conducting-at-the-Trooping-of-the-Colour-2009-300x208

Buckingham Palace

Palace guards

The Admiralty Citadel

Admiralty_Citadel2008The Admiralty Citadel, London’s most visible military citadel, is located just behind the Admiralty building on Horse Guards Parade. It is another building I visited, although owing to a major diversion of traffic owing to a foot race, it wasn’t possible to really see in it. It was constructed in 1940–1941 as a bomb-proof operations centre for the Admiralty, with foundations 30 feet (nine meters) deep and a concrete roof 20 feet (six meters) thick. It is also linked by tunnels to government buildings in Whitehall. I was told that after the war the city wanted to demolish it and found it to be too strong to demolish. It remains a rather odd and not overly attractive building.;

Sir Winston Churchill described it in his memoirs as a “vast monstrosity which weighs upon the Horse Guards Parade” –and Russian vine has been encouraged to cover it in an apparent attempt to soften its harsh appearance. Its brutal functionality speaks of a very practical purpose; in the event of a German invasion, it was intended that the building would become a fortress, with loopholed firing positions provided to fend off attackers. The Admiralty Citadel is still used today by the Ministry of Defence.

Location: 03-D5