Visiting the Palace of Queen Elizabeth II
15.09.2015 - 15.09.2015 20 °C
Buckingham Palace is only open for a short time every year while Queen Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh take their annual holidays in Sandringham, Scotland. As we had visited many royal palaces on our long trip it was fitting to finish with the reigning Monachs Palace. We arrived at the allowed time of 11.30 am to be told we had to visit the Royal Mews and the Queen's Gallery first. We walked along the road to the Royal Mews not really knowing what we would see. First we got to see the royal state carriages. The ones that you see during royal weddings, Corinations etc. Also some cars on display. One of the Royal coaches quite modern designed by an Australian, as this is more roomy and comfortable it was the couch used for William and Kates wedding. We also got to walk through the emaculate stables, we saw some of the Queens horses being unloaded from a horse float. There were lots of horse paraphernalia on display from over the years all well polished. The best part of the Royal Mews was seeing the golden coach. This was so golden it glowed. It was well displayed with sculptured horses and riders. I could have stood there all day looking at it. After this we had some lunch in a restaurant we had already frequented. It was then off to the Queen's gallery. The gallery features art from the royal collections. This year the display theme was the Garden. The art works were chosen with this in mind. Queen Victoria and Prince Albert were keen art collectors and often had art works commissioned. It was good to see some of these. Some of the Art work brought back memories of a trip to The Isle of White on a previous visit. There was some sculptures the one I liked the best was the boy with a prickle in his foot. There was a candelabra that came from Osborne House that looked like lillies. Getting into the Palace is like going through an airport. First you queau then your bag goes through a scanner. Geoff had to leave his backpack and collect it at the other side. We got a quided tour it felt a little unreal to be gliding up the stairs to the state rooms and actually being inside the palace. Buckingham Palace has served as the official London residence of British sovereigns since 1837. And today is the administrative headquarters of the monarch. The Palace has 775 rooms. They include 19 State rooms, 52 Royal and guest bedroos, 188 staff bedrooms, 92 offices and 78 bathroos. The Palace is the venue for Royal ceremonies, State Visits and Investitures all organised by the Royal Household. We got to see rooms only before seen in the media. The Royal state dining room was set up as for the Singapore Presidents visit, he had visited earlier in the year. The tables completely set along with name tags, flowers etc I got to stand right behind the Queens chair and see the room from her view point. On display was an interesting collection of gifts given to the Queen on State Visits, one was particularly colourful and amusing. I am sure it gave the Queen a good chuckle. They had various cabinets set up showing how the household runs, like the kitchen etc. I liked the dressmaker one showing materials still to be sewn and a frock that the Queen resently wore. There were also other dresses on display. A great experience for us to do this visit. No photos allowed as you would expect. Soon we popped out the back where the royal garden parties are held there were large posters showing former garden parties. Here there were large temporary seating areas and a cafe. We thought we had better partake of royal afternoon tea where we could look out on the lawn and Gardens where the Queen has more than likely walked her corgis. Grandma and Grandpa Wooderson were very excited to receive an invitation to a royal garden party in 1952. It would have been Elizabeth II first garden party after becoming Queen, she was crowned in 1953. Grandma writes in her dairy of going to buy her dress with one of the Aunts they stayed with in London. Grandma and Grandpa were on the boat to England when the news came of King Georges death. They lined up along the Mall to watch his funeral procession. After our afternoon tea we walked out through the gardens. Of course there was a shop you had to walk through. Then more gardens to walk through before popping out in a completely different place to the entrance. Managed to find an underground popped down and found our way to Kings Cross Station.