Wednesday, 27 July 2011

They’re Changing Guard At Buckingham Palace……..

And we missed it because we were inside having a good old nosey around.

It was definitely a novel and interesting day, novel because I got to travel on the tube in rush hour......…deep joy!
I’ll never know how people can do that day in and day out and if I never have to do it again it will be a day too soon if you ask me. It was hot and dirty and I sent most of my journey home standing up and staring into the armpit of a man who had definitely had a hard day by the smell of things but hey ho, I can’t let a little thing like that spoil what was a wonderful day out.

We decided to set out early because we weren’t really sure how far it was from the station and I met my cousin Jane on Stratford station where we needed to change trains. Twenty minutes later we were taking a gentle stroll through Green Park

and had our first glimpse of Buckingham Palace………not my fist ever glimpse you understand, just the first glimpse of the day.

We were quite early for our allotted entrance to the Queens Gallery so we decided to find a café close by and have a quick coffee and croissant before heading back to see the magnificent collection of paintings by the Dutch artists.
Here’s a couple of the paintings that really caught my eye.

The Four Eldest Children of The King and Queen of Bohemia painted by Gerrit van Honthorst

Sorry the picture is not that great but although we were allowed to take photos in here we were not allowed to use flash and I think I had the camera on the wrong setting.
Now what struck me in this picture was the fine complections on the children’s faces, the folds in the White dress and most of all the dirt under the toenails of the eldest daughter.

Next was this
A Rough Dog by George Stubbs, painted in 1790.

I think the background of this looks a little childlike but the dog itself is amazing. You almost feel you could burry your fingers in its coat.

Our next stop was at the Royal Mews where we saw some of the carriages used for state occasions, including the Glass coach that Lady Diana Spencer rode to St Paul's Cathedral in

and the Gold State Coach

Aparently it requires a window above some hidden doors to be removed and central heating pipes altered when the coach is need and takes two days to get it out.

From here we went a had a spot of lunch and then joined the enormous queue to see the State Rooms and ‘That Dress’. Mind you, I have to say the staff there had it all so well organised and there were plenty around to point you in the right direction and offer extra information that wasn’t already on the audio tour we were listening to.

Unfortunately we weren’t allowed to take photos here but the rooms as you can imagine were magnificent with wonderful treasures everywhere you looked.

We finally entered the Ballroom and there it was, Kate’s wedding dress in all its glory. It was truly breathtakingly beautiful.

We sat for a while and watched a film showing how the dress was made and all the detail that had gone into it.
Apparently they had cut tiny motifs from six different types of lace and hand stitched them on to very line tulle (on close inspection you couldn’t see a single stitch) to make a one off unique lace especially for the dress.

The Dress

They even stitched the same motif on her shoes which were beautiful but I was surprise how high the heels were.

The Shoes

In the same cabinet as the shoes were her diamond earrings,

The Earings

the tiara that was loaned to her by the Queen

The Tiara

and also a silk replica of her pretty bouquet.

The Bouquet

In the next room we were treated to a close up view of the magnificent 8 tiered cake made with 17 cakes in total. Having decorated cakes myself in the past I can really appreciate the work that had gone into this because there were 900 sugar flowers and leaves decorating the cake and the lattice scallops hanging from some of the layers were so fine and delicate. You could even see where William and Kate had made their first cut.
You can see it here in detail

The Cake

Once we had finished out tour of the State Rooms I had a nice Iced Coffee and a Strawberry and Cream Scone on the terrace before we had a walk along one side of the gardens and the lake.

One thing struck me here, the distinct lack of flowers but I guess with all those garden parties they have they need the space but it still would have been nice to see some colour there.

All in all it was a really good day and the great thing is that if you get your tickets stamped they are valid for a year and you can go back as many times as you like free of charge to see the other exerbitions they put on, so although our tickets cost £31, I think it was well worth it.


SharonL said...

Wow Sue, what a fabby day you two had :) Wish I had been with you.
Your pictures are really great and show a lot of detail - I did not even know that there was an exhibition of the Wedding Dress/Cake etc ... shall have to see if we can get there to see it too.
Bet you needed a good sit down when you got home :)
Love and hugs, sharon. x

Angie said...

What a great time ...cant believe you can take photos. I've seen the outside many times when we lived just outside London ....I think the ticket seems good value and envy you seeing the dress etc .xx

Anonymous said...

Oh wow!! What beautiful photos Sue!! Looks like a fabulous time!! HUGS

Twiglet said...

Well thank you for the conducted tour!! I would love to see the dress - just imagine how long it took to make and how much it will have cost! Thansk for sharing. x Jo

Kathy said...

What a fabulous day out! Your photos reminded my of the summer I spent as nanny to a US family holidaying in London - I was entertaining the 2 boys while their parents were doing other stuff. I had a whale of a time taking them all over London and one of our stops was the Royal Mews.
I'd read about the lace motifs for the dress - one of the things I had to do for my needlework A level was joining lace pieces together and having done just a little amount I am in awe of the people who did the lace for the wedding dress. As for that cake, well, it's just incredible