Road to somewhere
This royal road has become a popular route for tourists visiting the historic city: there is lots to see along the way besides Buckingham Palace and Trafalgar Square. Wide and tree-lined, it makes for a pleasurable promenade through the heart of historic London.
Right in front of Buckingham Palace you can see the Victoria memorial. This huge and striking marble monument is topped with a golden winged victory, female Roman icon of power and namesake of the Queen; figures of Motherhood, Justice, and Truth are below, and enthroned in the middle is Queen Victoria herself, depicted as the mother of a nation. Its designer, Thomas Brock, aimed to emphasise the ‘qualities which made our Queen so great and so much beloved.’
As you go along the Mall you will find Horse Guards Parade just off to the east. The road then takes you to Admiralty Arch, a ceremonial gateway with five arches, built shortly after the construction of the Victoria Memorial by King Edward VII in honour of his late mother. Following its sale to a Spanish developer in 2012, the Arch is set to become a luxury hotel. This archway leads into the southwest corner of Trafalgar Square in the heart of the city, which is always buzzing with life.
The road is closed to ordinary traffic on Sundays, and for royal celebrations such as the wedding of Prince William and Kate and the Queen’s Jubilee festivities. Indeed, the Mall was originally created as a ceremonial route to and from the Palace; it is also closed during state visits when the road is reserved for exclusive use by the Queen and the visiting diplomat, who will be chauffeured up the Mall, state flags waving, as a matter of ceremony.