Ginny Carter Smallenburg and I have had this Queen thing going on for years. It started back in the days of Art Continuum and the Creative Block, and to this day I start nearly all my correspondence to her addressed as The Queen. So imagine my surprise to find there is another Queen out there, with maybe an even larger home and fabulous gardens to match!
Our second day in London was spent at Buckingham Palace. In the morning, we saw the changing of the palace guard. We were approaching the palace along a wide, grand boulevard when the guards suddenly just marched in front of us! We shot some photos, then tried to keep up with them on the sidewalk as they approached the palace, a task that became increasingly difficult because the crowds were enormous around the palace gates and surrounding circle.
Our timing for this trip was perfect, for when the Queen is away on vacation (she goes to Scotland for two months every summer), the Palace state rooms are open to the public for tours. There are a total of 26 rooms altogether ... ballrooms, sitting rooms, music room, throne room (and we're not talking toilets, here) receiving rooms, grand staircases, painting gallery rooms and many others. There was also a very nice exhibit of Queen stuff ... gowns and crowns, those ever present hats and sensible handbags, swords and pillows, and a collection of this year's birthday cards to the Queen ... a delightful display, highlighting all of the Queen's many official responsibilities throughout the year. And you thought you lived a highly scheduled life!
My new goal is to get myself invited to one of the three garden parties held each year on the grounds ... about 8,000 people attend each one, so surely there is a chance for me somewhere! (Memo to self: do something worthy of Queen attention.)
We decided to have lunch at the Palace because, in the summer, you can. Even our coffee came with this special insignia. Lovely!
At the obligatory stop at the gift shop as we left, I happened upon this fabulous box which, when opened, turned out to be not only a sewing kit, but a kind of book structure that I have seen somewhere before. Don't be surprised if it finds its way into my repertoire at some point!
Next post we're off to the Isle of Guernsey, where we had several artful adventures.