POMP AND PAGEANTRY
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.
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
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
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
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
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