From Admiralty Arch we walked down the Mall passed Clarence House and over towards Buckingham Palace, It was packed with people when we visited because the Queen was at home and everybody was hoping she would take the dogs out for a walk or something, it was far to crowded to see or even get near the changing of the Guard but we did see the Life Guard regiment of the Household Cavalry ride up to the Palace, shortly after the Scots Guards marched back from The palace.
It was really crowded with people and it took us a long time to walk past the palace and get out of the crowds, If you are going to visit at this time it will be crowded so you need to add extra time on for this and please be careful of pick pockets, make sure all your stuff is safe!
The Victoria Memorial stands prominently outside of Buckingham Palace, at the West end of the Mall. It is dedicated to Queen Victoria, the prolific Monarch who first made the Palace the seat of the Royal Family. Although the statue was dedicated in 1911, the most notable part – the bronze memorial – was not installed until 1924. Designed by Sir Aston Webb, the memorial is said to have a nautical theme, as a memento of the naval power that is said to have provided the British Empire its dominance amongst its European neighbours. The memorial is topped with a bronze statue of Victoria herself, but also contains smaller, darker statues (also of bronze) that depict the Angels of Justice, Truth and Charity. The monumental scale of the Memorial lends itself well not only to official functions, but also to the various tourist groups seeking to get snapshots of Buckingham Palace and the Mall.
Buckingham Palace is one of those places where the hordes of tourists are as much part of the attraction as the attraction itself. For those of us who are used to the seats of power and the homes of world leaders being bunkers, it can sometimes seem like Buckingham Palace is wide-open and vulnerable, although expenditures on security apparatus and personnel would prove otherwise. Perhaps it is just the fact that gates – and there are some splendid gates at the front of the Palace – are insufficient for the task of keeping out those who would seek régime change through violence. Buckingham Palace’s site passed back and forth between royals, the aristocracy and others until, finally, in the 1760s, the house on it was renovated in order to provide a living space for Queen Charlotte. These renovations continued for some seventy years, adding massive amounts of space and a neo-Classical façade. It wasn’t until Queen Victoria’s ascent to the throne, however, that it became the residence of the monarch, which it has remained to this day. Although Queen Victoria preferred to live outside of London during the latter part of her reign, the Palace was not sold and King Edward VII, upon his ascension, put it once again in the centre of Royal life and hospitality. The Palace is today open to the public only in August and September, although MPs have recently requested that the public be allowed to view the premises over greater periods each year.
Buckingham Palace--what can we say, probably the most well known house in the world!!! but did you know that on the site when the Duke of Buckingham purchased the land in 1702 stood a notorious brothel!!! Of Course everybody knows it is the official home of the Queen or ruling monarch. but in1761 George III purchased it for his wife, Queen Charlotte and not until 1837 in Queen Victoria's era did it become the recognised official residence of the Monarch. John Nash, the famous architect enlarged it with the three wings which formed the courtyard in the middle. In August and September the State Rooms are open to the public (£18), who will enjoy seeing wonderful paintings by Rembrandt and Rubins and some of the other treasures in the 19 rooms.
Great crowds gather there to celebrate Royal Weddings and other events. The palace has 775 rooms including 188 for the staff and 72 bathrooms, 40,000 light bulbs, 1514 doors, 760 windows that are cleaned every 6 weeks(although you are unlikely to see Her Majesty up on a ladder cleaning them herself!!! And believe it or not the kitchen is able to cook for as many as 600 people having a sit down meal!!! The forecourt and railings were not completed until 1911 where the Changing of the Guards takes place every second day at 11.30 in autumn and Winter.
The Garden has many different species of birds, 350 flowers and is used for garden parties, children's parties, classical concerts and even a charity tennis match.
The queen has visited many countries even though she does not own a passport and although her birthday is April 21 another day is officially chosen for public celebrations.
The best must-see event in London, and it happens every other day!
The Changing Of The Guard ceremony is just that, the changing of the guards at Buckingham Palace. Being on a tight schedule, we hadn’t specifically planned on seeing the ceremony, but happened to be in the right place at the right time, stood on the Mall as we watched the guards ride and march past.
We saw The Life Guard regiment of the Household Cavalry ride down The Mall towards the Palace, and shortly after the Scots Guards marched back up after being relieved by the cavalry regiment.
The ceremony occurs every other day (see website below) and starts at Horse Guards Arch at 11am. This part of the ceremony last about half an hour and the guard can be seen on The Mall at around 11:40.
The website below gives information on times and how to spot the different regiments of foot guards. The red-coated cavalry are The Life Guard regiment, and the blue-coated ones are the Blues and Royals.
The Mall is the ceremonial road leading from Buckingham Palace to Admiralty Arch and Trafalgar Square. We walked down The Mall on our way to Buckingham Palace.
Created in the early 20th Century, The Mall is similar to other ceremonial routes in Berlin Mexico City Oslo, Paris and many other capital cities of the world. As part of the development, a new façade was constructed for Buckingham Palace as well as the large Victoria Memorial. At just over half a mile The Mall is the most famous road in London, and used for either the first leg or final leg of Royal processions such as those for Weddings and Coronations. Its tarmac is coloured red to give the illusion of a giant red carpet leading to Buckingham Palace.
It I closed to traffic on Sundays, public holidays and royal processional days, when crowds gather all the way along to watch the Royal Family appear on the Balcony, such as VE Day in 1945, and the wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton in 2011.
The annual London Marathon finishes on The Mall, and it was also the start and finish line for the marathon course, road race and the race walks of the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic games.
The Mall also sees The Changing Of The Guard at Buckingham Palace every day, with the guards marching up or down The Mall on their way between the Palace and their Barracks. We were lucky enough to see the Long Guard, featuring a standard bearer and trumpeter. The Long Guard is used whenever The Queen is in residence at Buckingham Palace.
Still at Buckingham Palace, and the Foot Guards have marched into the Palace grounds. The crowd around mostly rush over to the Palace gates to see the changing of the guard, so I moved to the front of the roped off area. Lucky I did, as it wasn't long before the Horse guards came along, and I had a front view!
We just watched them go past as many of the people did, then the crowd started to disperse and move away.
Changing of the Guard or Guard Mounting is the process involving a new guard exchanging duty with the old guard.
First of all, you need to know what day and what time, so click onto the listed website.
Next, What time to get there for a good position?
We were there half hour before, and already the crowd was thick. I asked a Bobby for a good position, and he told me roadside of the Palace gates, this is where we went. I was lucky, as there were short people in the front, so I could see over the top of them.
If you are standing there, then the guards will come to your right, and march around to the left and into the Palace Gates.
The handover is accompanied by a Guards band which plays all styles of music. I was rather surprised! You may hear traditional military marches to songs from films and musicals and familiar pop songs.
When The Queen is in residence, there are four sentries at the front of the building. When she is away there are two.
The Queen's Guard usually consists of Foot Guards in their full-dress uniform of red tunics and bearskins. If they have operational commitments, other infantry units take part instead.
At Buckingham Palace, Guard Mounting takes place at 11.30 am.
It is held daily from May to July, and on alternate dates throughout the rest of the year.
Does anybody come to London and not come and see Buckingham Palace? I wonder!
As it happened we came here twice, and walked past several times. I should have timed my visit a week later, as the Palace was open for Public Tours then.
How much do you know about Buckingham Palace?
I guess that it's the official London residence and principal workplace of the British monarch, and also where state occasions are held.
It hasn't always been known as Buckingham Palace, it was originally known as Buckingham House, a large Townhouse built for the Duke of Buckingham in 1705. George III in 1761, used it as a private residence for Queen Charlotte, then it was known as "The Queen's House".
During the 19th century it was enlarged, finally becoming the official royal Palace of the British monarch on the accession of Queen Victoria in 1837.
I didn't know the palace Chapel was destroyed by a German bomb in World War II, and this is where the Queen's Gallery was built and is now open to the public displaying works of art from the Royal Collection.
The East front is where the Royal family traditionally congregates to greet crowds outside.......
The Buckingham Palace Garden is the largest private garden in London.
The state rooms, used for official and state entertaining, are open to the public each year for most of August and September, as part of the Palace's Summer Opening.
Please check the website for opening times.
This year , there is a special exhibition Diamonds: A Jubilee Celebration
ADMISSION IN 2012....[INCLUDING AUDIO TOUR]
Over 60/ Student (with valid ID) £16.50
Under 17 £10.25
Under 5 Free
Family £47.00 (2 adults and 3 under 17s)
NO PHOTO'S ALLOWED IN THE PALACE
Photo's allowed in the garden
Allow 2-2.5hours to see everything
You can see the Change of Guards at Buckingham Palace through the railings, surrounded and pushed by a huge crowd. Not really comfortable!
You can also go on the left of Buckingham Palace to the Wellington Barracks on Birdcage Walk where the New Guard is formed starting at 10.45 am.
On the left side of the parade ground of Wellington Barracks, the new guard, thirty men plus the lance corporals and sergeants, are facing the public standing behind the railing. Not so crowded here. One can see the details and take photos under good conditions.
On the right side stands in circle the band of the Guards with about thirty musicians.
They play during the inspection of the guardsmen.
It is a colourful parade with the scarlet tunics, bearskin caps, the brass of the music instruments and the typical British drill and shouting orders.
The easiest way to recognize the various Guard regiments is by their plume on the bearskin cap (now made of synthetic fiber): white for the Grenadiers, red for the Coldstream, blue for the Irish (Prince William is colonel of the Irish Guards since 10 Feb. 2011), white and green for the Welsh and no plume for the Scots.
The new guard is formed in two sections; the regimental flag is handed to the youngest officer of the Guard.
At 11.30 am the band and the new guard leave the Wellington Barracks by the gate on the right. They march toward Queens Victoria Monument and Buckingham Palace. From here on the crowd is getting quite important.
After the ceremony it is also interesting to stay at the Wellington Barracks to see the "old guard" coming back from the Palace, but I did not stay for this part.
There is no Guard Mounting in very wet weather.
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