Pride in London 2018: Thousands march through central London for this year’s colourful parade

Thousands of people are marching through central London in rainbow colour to mark the annual Pride parade. 

Around one million people were expected to descend on the capital to join in with the Pride festivities this weekend. 

The annual LGBT+ parade began at midday on Saturday from Portland Place, and will pass through Oxford Circus, Piccadilly Circus and Trafalgar Square before finishing at Whitehall. 

There were colourful scenes across the city as huge crowds joined the brightly-coloured procession of floats, performers and dancers. 

Millions have filled the streets of London to join festivities around the annual parade (PA)

Nearly 30,000 people are partaking in the official parade, which was opened by the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan and runs past many of London’s landmarks.

Thousands joined the brilliant spectacle to celebrate the end of Pride month in London (Getty Images for Pride In London)

There are nearly 500 groups in the parade with organisers calling it “our most diverse yet”. 

Charities and businesses including Barnardos, Twitter and ASOS were seen as part of the vibrant rally.

London Pride: Thousands of Londoners take part in London’s Pride Parade to celebrate the LGBTQ+ community

While people shared their support for the march online using the hashtag #PrideLondon, with hundreds posting pictures of their rainbow-coloured outfits on Twitter. 

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn tweeted: “To everyone celebrating Pride today, and everyone fighting back against injustice and intolerance, the Labour Party stands with you.”

The theme of this year’s Pride is ‘Pride Matters’ (AFP/Getty Images)

Four stages throughout London in Trafalgar Square, Leicester Square and Soho will host performances from acts such as Sophie Ellis-Bextor.

It came as transport hubs and businesses across London are displaying rainbows to mark the campaign. 

While officers from the Metropolitan Police and London Ambulance staff were pictured wearing multi-coloured ribbons on their uniform. 

London Ambulance tweeted: “We’re incredibly proud to be celebrating Pride in London! This year we have the biggest present at Pride, with over 60 staff taking part from across the Service!”

London Fire Brigade opened its doors at Soho Fire Station for revellers to meet firefighters and fire cadets, and sit in a fire engine painted with rainbow stripes and dots. 

Mr Khan tweeted that there was an “amazing atmosphere” at the site after visiting the fire station on Saturday morning. 

The capital’s streets were decorated with rainbow patterns earlier this week in preparation for today’s parade.

High street shops and pavements were also adorned with the same design as Londoners celebrate more than half a century since homosexuality was legalised in the UK. 

Millions were expected to descend on the capital to watch the parade (Getty Images for Pride In London)

On Friday, the Houses of Parliament were illuminated in brilliant multi-coloured lights ahead of the parade on Saturday.

100 members of the world’s first gay rugby club to march for Pride

The theme of this year’s Pride is ‘Pride Matters’, with organisers asking why the month is still important. 

Pride is a month long celebration of the LGBT+ community, culminating in the glitter-filled parade festivities on July 7. 

Last year around one million people came to the capital’s streets for the parade, with 40,000 taking part in the march. 

The first official parade was in 1972 and saw 2,000 men and women take part.

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