Thousands of people gathered in central London as the annual Pride parade made its way through the city on Saturday (8 July).

Decked out in rainbow colours, more than 26,000 people marched through the streets and a million more came to watch in what is believed to be the biggest Pride event in its 45-year history.

However, this year's celebration was also the most heavily policed with increased security in place following a spate of terror attacks across the country.

Speaking before the event, London Metropolitan Police commissioner Cressida Dick said that the "look and feel" of this year's event will be different, but added that there was no specific threat in place.

That did not deter the party however and dozens of police officers and emergency services workers even took part in the proceedings themselves.

Organisers asked staff from the Metropolitan Police, London Ambulance Service and London Fire Brigade to lead the parade in appreciation of their steadfast response to the tragic events of the last several months.

This year's event also marked 50 years since homosexuality was decriminalised in England and Wales in the 1967 Sexual Offences Act. Homosexuality was later decriminalised in Scotland in 1980 and in Northern Ireland in 1982.

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Two women ride a motorbike down Regent Street during the Pride in London Festival on July 8, 2017Getty
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A giant rainbow flag is carried down Regent StreetGetty
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A performer dressed as the Queen takes partGetty
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A performer takes partGetty
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Police officers and police cadets wearing rainbow ribbons and epaulettes pose for a photographGetty
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London Mayor Sadiq Khan (Ccentre) poses for a photo with attendeesGetty
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A police officer wears rainbow epaulettesGetty
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Participants take part in the annual Pride in London Parade, which started in Portland Place and ends in Whitehall, in central LondonReuters
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Participants take a breatherReuters
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A man celebrates Pride by dying his beard the colour of the rainbowReuters
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Participants show their coloursReuters