Bling at Buckingham Palace

September 6, 2012 at 3:00 pm 2 comments

A glorious early September sunny day spent at Buckingham Palace. This was my first visit (it has only been open to the public since 1993 so it’s taken me 19 Summers to cross the threshold!) From 1820, on George 1Vs accession, John Nash was commissioned to convert the royal family London house into a palace. During the next nine years the flamboyant architect drastically overspent and was finally sacked from the job. The staterooms on view today are mainly unchanged – the resulting opulence of Nash’s half million pound spree is jaw dropping. As you move from room to room, listening to the free audio guide, your eyes become wider and wider at what are essentially modest sized rooms with high ceilings, exquisitely decorated as befits a monarch. Buckingham Palace is no royal hideaway – it is a working palace where heads of state and commoners are received. Nash’s vision was less extravagantly finished by Bloor on instruction of William IV after the death of George IV in 1830. Amazingly no monarch lived in Buckingham Palace however until Queen Victoria moved in after her accession in 1837 and Bloor was commissioned to add nurseries and guest rooms to make the Palace more functional as a family home, albeit a royal one.

After the devastating fire at Windsor Castle in November 1992, The Queen decided to open the doors of Buckingham Palace during the Summer months whilse the family were not in residence, to contribute to the refurbishment of her beloved Castle. The ticket price of £18 includes an audio guide and if you buy your ticket from the box office you can return free during the following year. Beware though, this offer does not apply to tickets bought through a third party (e.g. lastminute.com) even when paying the same price.

This year’s exhibition (included in the admission price) is the Queen’s Diamonds (for the Diamond Jubilee) and what an amazing display beautifully lit and shown off – revolving tiara’s and necklaces, earings and ceremonial swords….the most instantly recognisable is the Diamond Diadem which The Queen wears for The State Opening of Parliament every year, and Queen Victoria’s tiny tiara she wore throughout mourning on top of her familiar bun and veil, and the wonderfully named ‘The Girls of Great Britain and Ireland’ tiara bought as a wedding gift for Queen Mary in 1893. The gorgeous Duchess of Cambridge certainly has some pretty pieces to look forward to wearing!

Earl Grey Tea in the garden tea room with scone and jam and cream rounded off a perfect day. Unfortunately but understandably no photography allowed in the Palace so the photos are all from the grounds…oh and Paddington Bear in situ at the station where he was found.

By the way, the Queen may be unaware, (despite her secret corridor from her own rooms to the receiving room through a hidden door concealed behind a revolving gilt mirror), that she has a dragon hiding in a big Chinese vase in the Canova sculpture room downstairs. The Secret Society of Dragon Protectors need to investigate.

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Entry filed under: dragon protecting, travel. Tags: , , , .

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Heather Orange  |  September 6, 2012 at 4:23 pm

    Something I want to do one day…. soon all being well.

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    Reply
  • 2. debievans  |  September 6, 2012 at 8:15 pm

    well worth the £18 entrance fee H…schedule it in next Summer xx

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    Reply

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Debi Evans

Debi Evans

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