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.
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” 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.
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.
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.”