The Mall, London

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The Mall, looking southwest towards Buckingham Palace
The Mall: gate to Green Park
Admiralty Arch
The White Ensign, flag of Royal Navy, shown on St George's Day.

The Mall [1] is a short but important road in London. It runs from Buckingham Palace at its western end to Whitehall, right near Trafalgar Square. On the way, it runs through Admiralty Arch. It is closed to traffic on Sundays and public holidays, and on ceremonial occasions.

The Mall was built as a ceremonial route in the early 20th century. There are similar ceremonial routes in cities such as Berlin, Mexico City, Oslo, Paris, Saint Petersburg, Vienna and Washington, D.C.. These routes are often used for major national ceremonies. When the Mall was built, a new façade (front face) was constructed for Buckingham Palace, and the Victoria Memorial was erected.

The Queen Victoria Memorial is in front of the gates of the Palace, whilst Admiralty Arch at the far end leads into Trafalgar Square. The length of The Mall from where it joins Constitution Hill at the Victoria Memorial end to Admiralty Arch is exactly 0.5 nautical miles (0.93 km; 0.58 mi). St. James's Park is on the south side of The Mall, opposite Green Park and St James's Palace, on the north side. Running off The Mall at its eastern end is Horse Guards Parade, where the Trooping the Colour ceremony is held.

The surface of The Mall is coloured red to give the effect of a giant red carpet leading up to Buckingham Palace. This colour was obtained using synthetic iron oxide pigment from Deanshanger Oxide Works (Deanox),[2] which was created using the Deanox Process devised by chemist Ernest Lovell.

On VE Day – 8 May 1945 – the Palace was the centre of British celebrations. The King, Queen and Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret were on the balcony behind them, to the cheers from a vast crowd on The Mall.[3]

During state visits, the monarch and the visiting head of state are escorted in a state carriage up The Mall, and the street is decorated with Union Flags and the flags of the visiting head of state's country. During the Golden Jubilee celebrations of Queen Elizabeth II in 2002, over one million people packed The Mall to watch the public displays and the appearance of the Royal Family on the palace balcony. These scenes were repeated in 2011 for the wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton, and again in 2012 for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee, and the Diamond Jubilee concert.[4]

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