The Mall (London)

The Mall (London)

The Mall (IPAEng|ˈmæl) in London is the road running from "Buckingham Palace" at its western end to Admiralty Arch and on to Trafalgar Square at its eastern end, where it crosses Spring Gardens, which was where the Metropolitan Board of Works and, for a number of years, the London County Council was based. It is closed to traffic on Sundays and public holidays, and on ceremonial occasions.

The Queen Victoria Memorial is immediately before the gates of the Palace, whilst Admiralty Arch at the far end leads into the square. St. James's Park is on the south side of the Mall, opposite Green Park and St. James's Palace, on the north. Running off the Mall at its eastern end is the Horse Guards Parade, where the ceremony of Trooping the Colour occurs.

The Mall was created as a ceremonial route in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, matching the creation of similar ceremonial routes in other cities, such as Washington, D.C., Paris, Berlin, Mexico City, Vienna, St. Petersburg and Oslo. These routes were intended to be used for major national ceremonies in the era of the nation state. As part of the development (designed by Sir Aston Webb), a new façade was constructed for Buckingham Palace, and the Victoria Memorial was erected. Also, it is an urban myth that in the event of an emergency or catastrophic event that might endanger the Monarch and senior members of the government, the Mall can quickly be converted into a make-shift runway.

During state visits to the United Kingdom, 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 ceremonies of Queen Elizabeth II in 2002, over one million people packed the Mall to watch the public displays and the appearance of the British Royal Family on the palace balcony.

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