London II: Buckingham Palace

London Travel Blog

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Morning rush hour.

Today was the day for the "Queen's Day Out". This annual event is the opening of the State Rooms at Buckingham Palace to the general public while the Queen is on holiday in Scotland. Susan had put much time into planning our attending the palace "open house". We purchased timed tickets in adavance for the State Rooms as well as tickets for the Queen's Gallery and the Royal Mews.  

We took the Underground from Russell Square to Green Park. Thence, we crossed Green Park, a quiet and green oasis in the middle of the London. Buckingham Palace came into view at the other side of the park. It was interesting to note that the palace guards, in their red tunics and bearskin hats, are now stationed inside the palace fence.

Russell Square.
They are no longer outside at the gates, where generations of tourists have had their picture taken with them. A security measure, I assume.

Time-wise, our tickets called for first visiting the Queen's Gallery, to the side of the palace. On exhibit was the Queen's collection of Canaletto paintings. The Royal Collection has one of the world's largest collections of Canalettos, assembled by George III from the estate of John Smith, English consul at Venice. One usually associates Canaletto with scenes of Venice, prouduced for travelers making the Grand Tour. Seeing all these in once palce is wonderful in itself. But, the exhibt showed other sides to Canaletto, including his paintings of Rome and his "fantasy" paintings of ruins or palaces, real or imagined placed in fantastic or impossible settings.

Devonshire Gate, Green Park.
I learned a great deal about the latter genere, and realised I have seen many examples of this type of work, without the context presented here.  

The next tickets were for a vistit to the Royal Mews. The Royal Mews contains the stables, carriage houses and automobile garages for the Royal Family. It also contains living quarters for the chauffers and coach attendants. The carriages are on interpreted display, including the Gold State Coach. While we were here, a mounted police riding class was in progress at the Riding School wthin the Mews. 

The visit to the State Rooms at Buckingham Palace was absolutely brilliant. The grand staircase in the Marble Hall, White Drawing Room, Ballroom, Picture Gallery Ballroom and Throne Room were all on the walk-through tour. Unlike musuem palaces, these are functioning reception rooms during the year. The Ballroom is where the Queen's Birthday Honours are awarded. Following the tour, we had lunch on the palace terrace and then a pleasant walk though Buckingham Palace Gardens.

A futher walk past the Wellington Arch brought us to Hyde Park Corner Underground station. Our destination was Westminster and the Churchill War Rooms. The Churchill War Rooms is a musuem of the World War II underground Cabinet War Rooms. Of course, while in the vicinity we had an opportunity to hear Big Ben chime the hour.

A long day. We enjoyed dinner at our hotel.

Toonsarah says:
Indeed a long day, but you saw a lot and (I'm pleased to see) had better weather. Like many Londoners I've never been inside the Palace although I have visited the Queen's Gallery (the was a great Shackleton exhibition there some years ago). You were lucky to hear Big Ben chime as it is now silenced for four years while repairs are made to the Elizabeth Tower
Posted on: Sep 25, 2017
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Morning rush hour.
Morning rush hour.
Russell Square.
Russell Square.
Devonshire Gate, Green Park.
Devonshire Gate, Green Park.
Diana Fountain in Green Park.
Diana Fountain in Green Park.
Green Park
Green Park
Green Park and the Union Jack.
Green Park and the Union Jack.
Buckingham Palace.
Buckingham Palace.
Buckingham Palace.
Buckingham Palace.
Guardsman.
Guardsman.
Guardsman.
Guardsman.
Queens Gallery.
Queen's Gallery.
Grosvenor Place.
Grosvenor Place.
Wellington Arch.
Wellington Arch.
Wellington Arch.
Wellington Arch.
Royal Artillery Memorial.
Royal Artillery Memorial.
Royal Artillery Memorial.
Royal Artillery Memorial.
Apsley House (1785/1828).
Apsley House (1785/1828).
Elizabeth Gate, Hyde Park.
Elizabeth Gate, Hyde Park.
Clive of India statue. He is situa…
Clive of India statue. He is situ…
High Holborn.
High Holborn.
What would London be without the i…
What would London be without the …
Her Majestys Treasury.
Her Majesty's Treasury.
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Where Churchill Fought World War II
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The Carriage House of Buckingham Palace
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Visiting the State Rooms at Buckingham Palace
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photo by: ulysses