Sunday, 13 July 2014

#130: Go to Buckingham Palace

As an American, there's something about British Royalty that still inspires awe for me. While I recognise that the Monarchy is an unaccountable and expensive institution, I think it also stands for something great and that Queen Elizabeth is as upstanding a State figurehead as they get.
The Rose Garden, complete with very civilised.
I remember visiting Buckingham Palace when I was a kid to see the changing of the Guard as wondering what it would be like behind those high walls. I've often driven down the Mall and then past the Palace grounds on Constitution Hill towards Hyde Park and thought about scaling the wall (only in a theoretical sense, of course) and wondered what it would be like to wander the Private Gardens inside.
What a lovely day...Cheers indeed!
So I looked into what I'd need to do to see for myself. Given I'm not likely to ever receive an official Royal invitation or even an invitation to one of the Queen's famous Garden parties, I thought my only option would likely be to sign up for a tour of Buckingham Palace, which is open to members of the public in the summer. However, I'm not particularly a massive fan of those kinds of things, so when the chance to go to the Palace Gardens to celebrate the 60th Anniversary of the Queen's Coronation came up, I put my name in for tickets.
The Queen's State car. Notice no number plate.
It couldn't have been a nicer day. The weather was hot and sunny, like a proper weekend in July should be. The gardens were lovely with a vast array of flowers and wildlife that made you forget that a bustling city was just on the other side of those ivy covered walls.
Mary Poppins eat your heart out. There's even a chimney sweep on a bike.
It was just as I had imagined it would be all those years ago. I'm glad I finally got around to doing this one.

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