Tens of thousands of people descended on London’s streets on Saturday for the annual gay Pride march, marking the 50th anniversary of the decriminalization of homosexuality in England and Wales.
Armed police and strict security measures were in place to protect revelers following a recent spate of terror attacks, with around 25,000 participants parading down Regent Street, many wearing flamboyant costumes, waving rainbow flags and holding colorful balloons.
Hundreds of thousands more were expected to party thorough the night around the Soho district.
“This is the biggest Pride in London’s history and in Pride’s history, there are more than 1.5 million people here today, and it’s really important that Londoners are free to be who they want to be, free to love who they want to love,” London mayor Sadiq Khan told AFP as he joined marchers.
“We’ve had a horrific few weeks with the terrible fire at Grenfell Tower and three terrorist attacks, and what today’s about is love,” he added.
“It’s showing that actually the best antidote to the sadness, the sorrow, the bereavement, is having a great pride in London.” (AFP)