All the king’s horses...

The birthday parade on Southsea Common for King George V probably between 1910 and 1914.    Picture: Paul Costen

The birthday parade on Southsea Common for King George V probably between 1910 and 1914. Picture: Paul Costen

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This picture is about a century old and was taken on Southsea Common.

Its original caption said simply ‘birthday parade’, but the occasion is believed to be a celebration of the King’s birthday.

Osborne Road, Southsea, with the Queen's Hotel on the right, probably in the 1920s.    Picture: Paul Costen

Osborne Road, Southsea, with the Queen's Hotel on the right, probably in the 1920s. Picture: Paul Costen

Judging by the women’s clothing the period is late-Edwardian, possibly about 1910. They are carrying parasols, and there are leaves on the trees, so it’s obviously summer.

Edward VII’s birthday was in November, but he was succeeded by George V, who came to the throne in 1910 and whose birthday was on June 3. So it might have been in his honour.

However, there is a theory that the King is actually in this picture – on the horse on the extreme left.

On June 24, 1911 George V and Queen Mary did visit Portsmouth for the Coronation Fleet Review so perhaps the two events were combined.

Please get in touch if you know the answer.

The second picture shows Osborne Road, Southsea, in the 1920s with the Queen’s Hotel on the right.

The car on the right bears the BK prefix on its number plate, the letters for cars registered in the city from 1925 onwards.

n Both pictures are from Paul Costen, the Waterlooville collector and photographer.

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