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June 2019

The 75th commemorations of D-Day struck a chord with many people, not just around the UK but in France and elsewhere too. Kevan James' pictorial essay looks back on a week on the streets of London as the visit of US President Donald Trump for those commemorations was marked by protests as well as celebration.

Getting on a London bus is usually very straightforward except at times such as these; even the roads themselves have apparently been checked...

Above and below: The UK does pageantry and ceremony probably better than anybody else. At the forefront is The Household Cavalry, made up of the two most senior regiments in the British Army: The Life Guards and The Blues & Royals.

“They are called The Household Cavalry as each of the Troopers has to own his own house.”

Peter Sellers

(in his last interview, with Peter McDonagh, British Forces Broadcasting Service, 1980)

Parliament Square has seen demonstrations by the bucketload, including June 2019. It will see many more - such is the beauty of democracy.

Most of the time, demonstrations are placid affairs, although they also involve a lot of noise.

It is a tribute the the United Kingdom, its security services and police, that they usually are so.

Left -

London's streets can seem a little strange when the demands of the occasion mean clearing the traffic, both pedestrian and vehicular, that normally fill them

The Tube (London Underground) is even more eerie when empty.

Below - Many country's leaders reside either in an opulent palace or at the very least, in a building of size, flanked by wide roads. Only the UK's Prime Minister lives in a quirky little side-street, albeit one that is no longer accessible to the general public; at one time, a selfie outside the door to Number Ten was mandatory for every visitor (public and politician alike).

Above - The guardians of the peace and the ability to have one's voice heard, either collectively or individually, were out in numbers during US President Trump's state visit.

Above - Opposite Downing Street, there is always a point to be made.

Below - Like Parliament Square and Downing Street, Trafalgar Square is often the go-to place to start or end a march and demonstration.

Left - preceded by the press pack, marchers march...

...and like the squares at each end, Whitehall has seen them all.

Below - covering all the angles; by picture and word, the UK's vibrantly free press make sure that what happens reaches everybody who wants to know.

Left (clockwise) - Frances O'Grady, General Secretary, the Trades Union Council; Mark Serwotka, General Secretary of the Public and Commercial Services Union; Diane Abbott MP, Shadow Home Secretary; Richard Burgon MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Justice and Shadow Lord Chancellor.

Political commentator and author Owen Jones in a cheery mood.

Life in London is not just about demonstrations but all kinds of interesting things can be seen (and experienced) for those who look...

Tinkling the ivories at St Pancras railway station;

There are two public use pianos and throughout the day, those who can play will entertain anybody who cares to pause.

Moldovan musicians on the tube

With love from France;


All images © Kevan James 2019

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