POMP AND PAGEANTRY

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CHANG­ING THE GUARD

Troops from the House­hold Divi­sion have guarded the monarch since 1660. When one reg­i­ment re­places an­other, the rit­ual is known as Chang­ing the Guard. Watch this take place on The Mall near Buck­ing­ham Palace. The tra­di­tion can also be seen at Horse Guards Pa­rade and Wind­sor Cas­tle.

TROOP­ING THE COLOUR

Troop­ing the Colour be­gan in the 17th cen­tury un­der King Charles II. Af­ter Ge­orge III be­came king in 1760, pa­rades marked his birth­day. To­day, of­fi­cers, horses and mu­si­cians pa­rade on the Queen’s of­fi­cial birth­day ev­ery June. The Queen watches the spec­ta­cle, which con­cludes with an RAF fly­past.

CER­E­MONY OF THE KEYS

This 35-minute rit­ual, in which the im­pos­ing gates of the Tower of Lon­don are locked, has taken place ev­ery night for 700 years. A chief yeo­man warder, car­ry­ing the Queen’s keys, locks the outer gate and the Middle and By­ward Tow­ers. The event is free, but it is of­ten booked up months in ad­vance.

STATE OPEN­ING OF PAR­LIA­MENT

This tra­di­tion be­gan in the 1500s, though the cur­rent cer­e­mony dates from 1852. The State Open­ing hap­pens on the first day of a new par­lia­men­tary ses­sion or af­ter a gen­eral elec­tion. The Queen leads a pro­ces­sion to West­min­ster. Then an of­fi­cial, known as Black Rod, sum­mons the Com­mons.

MU­SI­CAL HANG­OUT

For 50 years, a central Lon­don street, nick­named Tin Pan Al­ley but called Den­mark Street, has been as­so­ci­ated with pop­u­lar mu­sic. In his teens, Bowie hung out so of­ten at the Gi­a­conda café (now the Flat Iron steak restau­rant), with mu­si­cal friends in­clud­ing Marc Bolan and the Small Faces, that he was spot­ted there by BBC re­searchers and ended up on TV ad­vo­cat­ing a So­ci­ety for the Pre­ven­tion of Cru­elty to Long-Haired Men. There are still nu­mer­ous mu­sic shops on the street, but per­haps not for much longer as the area is be­ing re­de­vel­oped for Cross­rail. Den­mark St, WC2H 8LS

BOWIE’S OLD HOME

Bowie spent his early mu­si­cal years in Beck­en­ham, south Lon­don – around 40 min­utes away from the cen­tre of town. Had­don Hall, the ram­shackle man­sion Bowie lived in with his wife Angie – where they painted the ceil­ings silver and threw lav­ish par­ties – has sadly been demolished. How­ever, the Three Tuns pub where he ran the Beck­en­ham Arts Lab now thrives as a branch of the Ital­ian restau­rant chain, Zizzi. A plaque out­side com­mem­o­rates this mu­si­cal his­tory, while mu­rals in­side in­spired by Bowie al­bums and films add a touch of Zizzi Stardust. Beck­en­ham, BR3 1AE

LAZARUS MU­SI­CAL

Bowie has taken the central char­ac­ter from his most fa­mous film, TheManWhoFellto Earth, and built a ‘play with mu­sic’ around him. Its plot may be baf­fling, but crit­ics and public alike have given it rave re­views for the stag­ing and, of course, the mag­nif­i­cent songs. King’s Cross Theatre, Kings Boule­vard, N1C 4BU

MU­SI­CAL IN­STRU­MENTS

Estab­lished in 1971, the Hard Rock Cafe’s The Vault, which once housed the Queen’s valu­ables, is filled with rock mem­o­ra­bilia, in­clud­ing a Bowie gui­tar. Park Lane, W1K 1QZ

FES­TI­VAL FEVER

David Bowie or­gan­ised a free fes­ti­val in Croy­don Road Re­cre­ation Ground in 1969, an event he im­mor­talised in the song Mem­ory ofaFreeFes­ti­val on the al­bum SpaceOd­dity. The band­stand where he played is now known as the Bowie Band­stand, and a restora­tion project is planned. Beck­en­ham, BR3 3PR

TRIB­UTE ACT

A lav­ish show is promised on 14 Jan by ‘Europe’s finest Bowie trib­ute act’, Ab­so­lute Bowie. Spi­der­s­fromMars drum­mer Woody Wood­mansey calls it ‘the clos­est to the real thing you’ll get’. O2 Academy2 Is­ling­ton, N1 OPS

70TH BIRTH­DAY PARTY

On 7 Jan, let out your in­ner Star­man at the David Bowie :70 th Birth­day Cel­e­bra­tion at The Phoenix. Dress­ing up, from space­suits to face paints, is en­cour­aged and you’ll hear clas­sic Bowie songs. 37 Cavendish Square, W1G 0PP

“THE VAULT IS HOME TO ONE OF BOWIE’S GUI­TARS”

Clock­wise from main im­age: Trib­ute act Ab­so­lute Bowie; news­pa­pers mourn­ing Bowie’s death; Hard Rock Cafe’s The Vault

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