London's Royal Palaces & Attractions
with Burlington Bertie .
Venue: Whitehall, SW1. |
Access: Unrestricted, subject to police crowd control.
Getting There: Nearest Tubes. Charing Cross, (Northern and Bakerloo Lines), for access from Trafalgar Square; Westminster, (Jubilee, Circle and District Lines), for access from Parliament Square; St. James's Park, (Circle and District Lines), for access from St. James's Park.
Burlington Bertie's Accommodation Choice: 35 St. James's Place
Described by the NYTimes as "the ultimate Country House hotel", this member of the 'Small Luxury Hotels of the World' consortium is situated in the heart of St.James's, London's most exclusive quarter, just around the corner from St. James's Palace and Clarence House. It hides 5-Star, award-winning and elegantly sumptuous comfort in quietly understated luxury behind its discreet exterior. The dry martinis mixed by Tony in the relaxed Dukes Bar are famous.
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The Cenotaph. Wikipedia Photo.
Designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens, as a sepulchral memorial to the Fallen in the 1914-18 war, it was unveiled on Armistice Day, 11 November, 1920, and has been the focus, as a national symbol, at the Remembrance Day Parade ever since. Each year on the Sunday nearest 11 November, Whitehall is closed to traffic and the Royal Family leads the placing of wreaths at the Cenotaph before taking the salute at a March Past of Veterans on Horse Guards Parade. Nearby a more recent cenotaph to the Women of World War II was unveiled by The Queen in 2005.
Burlington Bertie's Verdict:
Edwin Landseer Lutyens was Britain's pre-eminent architect during the first half of the 20th century, imposing a new classical style which supplanted the richly decorated Edwardian age of ornate Baroque. Make a point of looking at his monumental stone masterpiece on your visit. The apparent simplicity of its Stripped Classical design hides an extraordinary subtle geometrical composition of stark beauty. Admire also the poignantly evocative bronze memorial nearby to Women of World War II by the brilliant sculptor John Mills, former President of the Royal Academy of Sculptors.
The Sovereign's November Remembrance Day Service at the Cenotaph and March Past Parade by Veterans is a most moving event. Members of the public are encouraged to attend. Attendance is free but you are advised to dress on that occasion for possibly inclement weather. The event draws thousands and is subject to police crowd control.
Horse Guards Parade
Churchill Museum and Cabinet War Rooms