Had you been in central London on Sunday morning, you’d have seen over 200 people in full English Civil War clothing and arms marching through central London.

This was the 51st annual (pandemic notwithstanding) march by the English Civil War Society in memory of the execution of King Charles I.

The English Civil War Society, founded in 1980 is the umbrella organisation for the King’s Army and the Roundhead Association – and unsurprisingly, yesterday’s march was by the King’s Army in solemn commemoration of the death of their King.

So, from across the country, members of the reenactment society converge on The Mall, some arriving in period attire, others slipping into gear when they arrived, and a few practice swings with the pikes to remember what to do and a bit of parade drilling… the march along the Mall takes place.

To Horseguards. They uses to march down Whitehall, but that’s not possible now, so they form up on Horseguards Parade. This is accidentally better as far more people can watch the parade than when it was on a side street next to Whitehall.

And more people watch it now.

When I first attended back in 2009, hardly anyone turned up, and most of the onlookers were people out for a walk and being bemused by what they saw. Now, crowds turn up to line the Mall and watch.

And that is a Good Thing, to see the effort that the reenactors put into the parade and enjoy a bit of historic pomp and ceremony.

At Horseguards, this year’s cry of allegiance to King Charles may have confused some people who heard it, not realising it was for King Charles, first of his name, not the current King Charles, third of his name.

Although they can’t march down Whitehall, a small contingent, accompanied by Rev Ruth Dowson, Chaplain to The King’s Army of the English Civil War Society, marches through the gatehouse to Banqueting House to lay a wreath before the whole troop march back to St James for a well earned rest.

And it happens on the last Sunday in January every year — so put a note in your diary to get up early on Sunday 28th January 2024 if you missed it this year.


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  1. NG says:

    What petty regulation forbids their marching down Whitehall?

    I’m reminded of the old song about the “Lawyers’ farewell to Charing Cross”

  2. K cook says:

    We went along today to see this. Thank you Ian for promoting the event, it was very interesting

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