Monday, September 29, 2014

Buckingham Palace | Royal Childhood

The State Rooms Buckingham Palace
Buckingham Palace The State Rooms link
When my mum mentioned that she was visiting Buckingham Palace's State Rooms to see the Royal Childhood exhibit I decided to tag along and have a nose for myself and of course share some details with you.

We travelled to Green Park and took a leisurely stroll through Hyde Park arriving outside a very busy and bustling Buckingham Palace. As you would imagine tourists were in their hundreds waiting patiently at the gates for the changing of the guard and maybe a glimpse of the queen herself who was in residence.

Once we had deciphered where to go through the crowds to collect our tickets we then waited to be allowed to queue again for entry. Not that you will not be allowed into the entryway more than 15 minutes before your tickets start time. That said everything moved swiftly and the airport style security measures were significantly quicker than those you'll experience prior to your holidays.

Free audio guides then take over as you make your way through the various State Rooms. Unfortunately photography was not allowed hence a lack of photographs in this post but that does mean that you can fully appreciate walking through each room without being behind a camera.

As one would expect each room exudes opulence and it appeared everything was trimmed with gold. There was so much to take in and it was enjoyable to walk through rooms and recognise them from familiar images that have been in the press of Royal Weddings and Christenings. I particularly enjoyed the picture gallery and seeing works of art from Rembrandt to the typical royal portraits, one favourite being of Queen Victoria, Prince Albert and their children.

This year's exhibit was the Royal Childhood and various articles were encased along the route from early years leading up to Prince George's birth announcement. The Palace Ballroom exhibits clothing and toys from over the years and could be a struggle at times to fight to the front but luckily there wasn't an overwhelming number of items that you missed something once you got your place. Continuing through into another area filled with the most impressive tiny replica of the DB5 used by James Bond in the films Goldfinger and Thunderball which was presented by Aston Martin to Prince Andrew when he was six. Alongside the displays images are flashed onto the screens and home movies are playing on a loop for you to sit, watch and enjoy.

If I'm honest I enjoy tourist activities in bite size chunks and the timing for this tour was perfect. The audio guide last for one hour and spot on we found ourselves outside the palace gardens. If you had time on your hands you could enjoy the gardens and/or garden cafe but I'm sure there are no surprises that we dived into the giftshop so I could purchase the standard magnet and Christmas tree decoration for my collection.

The website does warn you that there is a half-mile walk through the gardens to the exit and then depending on where you're picking up your train even more of a walk to contend with. Mum and her friend were heading back to Green Park (again no surprises she was paying Fortnum and Mason a visit) which they both complained was further than they thought and I was shooting off to meet a friend so picked the closer Hyde Park Corner station but still managed to get myself lost in the maze of subways - so do, as they suggest, where your comfy shoes and plan your route carefully.

Buckingham Palace State Rooms are now closed for the Winter so if this is of interest it's something to plan for next Summer unfortunately and even better for us we were able to validate our tickets so they become a yearly pass so fingers crossed for another good exhibit next year for us to visit.

Are you a fan of these types of tourist attractions or maybe you've been to Buckingham Palace before?

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  1. I've not been to Buck House, & I'm a bit like you with the tourist stuff. Can only do it for a limited time before I get bored or disinterested.
    We're plotting our yearly jaunt to The London later on this month, Bill says to me 'do you want to go on a boat'. NO I shouted, I want to go SHOPPING! Boat trip. Pah! Wheel on Fortnum's & Ladurée !

    sounds like you had a good time. Bad show of Queenie to not grab you & make you a cuppa ;o)

    1. Glad it's not just me. I want to see and do these things but not for a whole day! Go on a boat when you could go shopping, is the man crazy!! ;o)

  2. I loved visiting Buckingham Palace a couple of years ago, I actually live right around the corner. Did they still have Kate Middleton's wedding dress on display? That was my favourite bit :)
    Lots of love,

    SilverSpoon London

    1. Ah I could've swung past for tea! Unfortunately the wedding dresses weren't on display this year it was just the childhood things. Would've loved to have seen the dress.

  3. I would love to go, the childhood things would really appeal to me :) xx

    1. It was really interesting as they had a lot of the photos to accompany the toys and things rather than it just being displays. x


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