When fellow Rainstorm Press author and friend, Tammy, asked me to do a guest post on her wonderful blog, I didn’t have to think too long and hard about the subject matter. We all know Tammy is very keen on all things this side of the pond, and you can’t get more quintessentially British than a day out with the Royals.
So, the summer before last, I gathered together a few friends, and group of young, wannabe princesses, and we travelled down to London for a tour around the Queen’s home.
Dating back to 1705, Buckingham Palace is situated in the City of Westminster, in the heart of central London and currently the principal residence of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Phillip.
We started our day with a wander around the palace itself, which is generally only open to the public
during the months of July and August when the Queen takes her annual holiday at Balmoral Castle in Scotland. We enjoyed the state rooms, climbed the opulent staircases and glimpsed the huge dining room table where they entertain state guests, although the girls were slightly disappointed that Ma’am wasn’t home – I think they really expected to have tea with her – and particularly sorry that the ‘private quarters’ were not open for viewing, so they couldn’t have a
Afterwards, we dashed to the Palace forecourt to catch the ‘Changing of the Guard’ ceremony, which takes place at 11.30 daily. This involves the current guard doing lots of stamping, marching and moving weapons around, only to be replaced by another guard, who looks exactly the same. (There are no distinguishing features since the humongous black, fluffy helmet covers the majority of their face.) The girls enjoyed the ceremony which takes around 45 minutes and is played out to music, and took great delight in trying to get the serious guards to smile for their photos.
Luckily, the weather was kind to us and we were able to lounge in nearby St James Park for a balmy picnic
before heading back for a tour around the Queens Mews or stables. The horses were away for their summer holidays (yes, the horses get holidays too!), but we managed to secure a real guide for this purpose (as opposed to the audio headsets supplied for the palace) and were shown the wonderful state cars and amazing carriages such as the Gold Coach used in the Queen’s Golden Jubilee in 2002.
Lunch done, we headed back to the take a look at the Queen’s Gallery where you can view a selection of her
favourite paintings and other artefacts and collectables. The children were particularly taken with her ornate china egg collection.
At the end of an exhausting, but most enjoyable day we wandered around the beautiful palace gardens whilst the girls ran and played amongst the trees. All that remained was to decide where to eat. We were in London, remember, the pick of the world’s cuisine at
our fingertips. And guess where we ended up? MacDonalds. So, I sat there eating my plastic burger and drinking my Styrofoam cased coffee and thought of the new Princess Catherine. I wonder if she ever ends her days at MacDonalds?
Jane Isaac is author of ‘An Unfamiliar Murder’ – OUT NOW! www.janeisaac.co.uk
This book has six, five-star reviews on Amazon and is getting rave reviews all over the web. I just got my copy in the mail, I can't wait to read it.
~Tammy ; )