Hill Street BB's London parade

Queen's Badge boys from Hill Street Presbyterian Boys Brigade (1st Lurgan) were delighted to be chosen to represent Boys Brigade at the recent Trooping of the Colour in London as they were invited to the party of a life time as tens of thousands of cheering people wished their Patron, the Queen, a happy 90th birthday.

This was a historic moment and the celebrations started early on Saturday morning when the group made their way to the Boys’ Brigade enclosure which was right on Horse Guards Parade, directly opposite to where the Ceremony was taking place.

The Duchess of Cambridge, Duchess of Cornwall and Prince Harry led the procession along with the Earl and Countess of Wessex, the Duke of York with Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie. The Queen and Prince Philip followed in a horse drawn carriage accompanied by the Sovereign escorts – mounted troops from the Lifeguards and the Blues and Royals. Carrying on the Royal tradition and riding on horseback in the parade were Prince Charles, Prince William and Princess Anne.

What an amazing spectacle it was as the group watched the whole Household division – almost 1,500 personnel, 300 horses from the Grenadier, Coldstream, Scots, Irish and Welsh guards took part in the procession and ceremony. Not one guard was out of step – the BB leaders made sure the boys took note as Billy Harra has warned them that’s the standard to be set for next year’s drill!

From Horse Guards Parade, the group made their way down the Mall with other BB companies from across the UK and under the leadership of Rhys Morgan, they managed to get a front row position at the gates of Buckingham Palace.

Four generations of the Royal family and three future kings stood side by side for the traditional balcony appearance after the Trooping of the Colour parade. There was a magnificent fly past of 29 RAF aircraft past and present including a Spitfire, a Hurricane, a Chinook, two Hercules with the Red Arrows as a finale. It was incredible to be part of such a large crowd of people singing “Happy Birthday” to the Queen.

Over the two- day trip the group took in many famous London landmarks.

A massive thank you to David Simpson and Carla Lockhart for organising a guided tour of the Houses of Parliament which was fantastic andenjoyed by everyone.

The group had a scary, but informative visit to the London Dungeons, and after a fabulous meal in Planet Hollywood had lots of fun in Ripley’s Believe it or Not.

They also visited the Tower of London where they viewed the stunning crown jewels.

This was a fantastic trip and everyone felt priviledged to represent the BB atthe Trooping of the Colour on the Queens 90th birthday.

This is something which the boys will always remember. They have all now been e ncouraged to keep working for their Queen’s Badges.