News

British Embassy Staffers Marched in the Capital Pride Parade Dressed Like UK Icons

The Beatles, Harry Potter, and Mary Poppins waved rainbow flags, and a kilted yoga influencer proposed to his partner.

British Embassy Staffers Marched in the Capital Pride Parade Dressed Like UK Icons
Embassy volunteers dressed as the Beatles wave rainbow flags during the Capital Pride Parade. Photo by Scott Marder.

The wizarding world of Harry Potter met the otherworldly universe of David Bowie at the Capital Pride Parade on Saturday. The British icons marched alongside the Spice Girls, pausing on 14th Street as the Beatles hit their iconic Abbey Road pose. Even Mary Poppins floated in with a rainbow umbrella.

Harry Potter and Hermoine cast a spell on the Capital Pride crowd. Photo by Scott Marder.
Harry Potter and Hermoine cast a spell on the Capital Pride crowd. Photo by Scott Marder.

The British were among the record number of embassies that sent delegations to this year’s parade, which sadly ended in a panic. Before that, the embassy’s more than 120 staff members and their families dressed up as famous British characters to spread “British cheer.”

The Spice Girls and the Beatles pose in front of the float. Photograph by Daniella Byck.
The Spice Girls and the Beatles pose in front of the float. Photograph by Daniella Byck.

The “Spice Girls” chucked peace signs to the adoring crowd. When the beat for their anthem “Wannabe” began blasting from the float, the pop stars broke into a choreographed dance. “I’m quite introverted at work but it’s been a total blast; it’s brilliant,” one of them says. 

David Bowie and Mary Poppins underneath a rainbow umbrella. Photograph by Daniella Byck.
David Bowie and Mary Poppins underneath a rainbow umbrella. Photograph by Daniella Byck.

The characters accompanied the embassy’s float, a mobile rainbow arching over Finlay Wilson, a Scottish influencer who went viral with his yoga-in-a-kilt videos. The float halted, and Wilson dropped to one knee to propose to his kilted partner, Adam Lambie“This is hopefully going to send a message to all the little boys and everyone else out there that they can have the life that they desire,” Wilson says. A flurry of pink confetti cascaded around the newly engaged couple. 

Scottish influencer Finley Wilson strikes a yoga pose in a kilt on the embassy float. Photograph by Scott Marder.
Finley Wilson strikes a yoga pose on the embassy float. Photograph by Scott Marder.

The rousing skirl of bagpipes accompanied the float as it moved along the parade route. Staff in military uniforms wore colorful facepaint and waved rainbow Union Jacks. “My theory is as bureaucrats, particularly working in diplomacy, you spend all day following the rules and consistently thinking what the line from London is,” says an embassy staff member. “This event lets us hang loose a little bit.” 

Bag pipe players lead the embassy's float. Photograph by Scott Marder.
Bagpipe players lead the embassy’s float. Photograph by Scott Marder.
Volunteers dressed as the Beatles pay homage to Abbey Road during the Capital Pride Parade. Photograph by Scott Marder.
Volunteers dressed as the Beatles pay homage to Abbey Road during the Capital Pride Parade. Photograph by Scott Marder.
Finley Wilson proposes to Alan Lambie during the parade. Photograph by Scott Marder.
Finley Wilson proposes to Alan Lambie during the parade. Photograph by Scott Marder.
Clad in military uniforms, embassy staff waved rainbow Union Jack flags. Photograph by Scott Marder.
Clad in military uniforms, embassy staff waved rainbow Union Jack flags. Photograph by Scott Marder.

Don’t Miss Another Big Story—Get Our Weekend Newsletter

Our most popular stories of the week, sent every Saturday.

Or, see all of our newsletters. By signing up, you agree to our terms.
Daniella Byck

Daniella joined Washingtonian in August 2018. She is a University of Wisconsin-Madison grad and lives in Logan Circle.