Pride in London: Parade sees thousands defy rain to celebrate the LBGTQ community

The theme of this year's Pride is 'freedom to'

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The Independent Online

Thousands of people defied heavy rain and hit the streets of London to celebrate the 2014 Pride festival on Saturday.

The London Pride parade set off at 1pm from Baker Street in central London and continued along Oxford Street, Piccadilly Circus, Pall Mall and Trafalgar Square before heading to Whitehall.

This year’s Pride festival saw the iconic rainbow flags, a symbol of LBGTQ pride, lining the streets of London. Taking centre stage at London’s parade is the Eurovision Song Contest 2014 winner Conchita Wurst, who was due to perform at 5.40pm at Trafalgar Square.

London Mayor Boris Johnson was not present at the parade, and was instead represented by Stephen Greenhalgh, the deputy mayor for policing and crime.

The theme of this year's Pride is 'freedom to'.

Among those attending the parade was Sir Ian McKellan, who was spotted posing for selfies with a reveller. Sir Ian, who is openly gay, is a vocal supporter of LBGTQ rights and in February said he has never met a gay person who has come out and regretted it shortly after Ellen Page announced she is a lesbian.

British actor Ian McKellan, right poses for a selfie with a reveler at the London Pride Parade 2014 in central London.

He even joked his gravestone would one day read: “Here lies Gandalf. He came out.”

Ahead of Pride, Wurst said: “I am really looking forward to seeing you all at Pride in London. Let us be proud about who we are and let us give a statement for love, respect and tolerance.

“Most of all, let us be proud and think about those LGBTQ people around the world who can't make a Gay Pride in their countries.”