Royal and Ceremonial London, London
Admiralty Arch is a landmark building which incorporates an archway providing road and pedestrian access between The Mall, which extends to the South-West, and Trafalgar Square to the North-East.
As the ceremonial entrance from Trafalgar Square to The Mall, itself the ceremonial road leading up to Buckingham Palace, Admiralty Arch plays an important role on ceremonial occasions. Processions at royal weddings, funerals, coronations and other public processions all passed under its arches.
You can watch my 2 min 02 sec Video Leaving London out of my Youtube channel or here on VT.
Buckingham Palace is the official London residence and principal workplace of the British monarch. Buckingham Palace has served as the official London residence of Britain's sovereigns since 1837 and today is the administrative headquarters of the Monarch. Located in the City of Westminster, the palace is a setting for state occasions and royal hospitality.
Originally it was known as Buckingham House. This building forms the core of today's palace was a large townhouse built for the Duke of Buckingham in 1705.
You may have a virtual tour: The Grand Staircase, The Throne Room, The Blue Drawing Room, The White Drawing Room.
You can watch my 2 min 13 sec Video London Buckingham Palace out of my Youtube channel or here on VT.
The Palace of Westminster as almost everybody knows is the meeting place of the House of Commons and the House of Lords, the two houses of the Parliament of the United Kingdom.
The Palace lies on the Middlesex bank of the River Thames in the City of Westminster and is considered to be one of the main landmarks of London.
Construction of the New Palace started in 1840 and lasted for thirty years.
You can watch my 1 min 58 sec Video Big Ben and Palace of Westminster out of my Youtube channel or here on VT.
Kensington Palace has been a royal residence since the 1600s, and it is currently used as living quarters for a number of Dukes and Earls who make up the inner circle of the Queen’s family. It is hard to imagine now, given that the Palace stands in the middle of modern London, but Kensington Palace was initially acquired by William III because he desired a Palace close to London but away from its pollution and industry, in order to ease his asthma. The Palace was used as a residence for the Monarch only until the late 18th century, after which it fell out of popular with the regent and was devoted largely to the housing of lesser royals. It has continued to be used in this sense ever since, although that should not imply that it is somehow the impoverished cousin of Buckingham Palace. Substantial work was completed on the structure prior to its abandonment by the Regent, and its use by the various consorts ensured that its surroundings, including Kensington Gardens, were redeveloped to suit the aesthetic tastes of Britain’s upper classes. Given that the Palace is currently used by the children and grandchildren of the Queen, it is not open to the public.
The Horse Guards Parade is, like the Mall, another of those Imperial stomping grounds that once must have seemed like an essential component of any imperial capital, and now seem like an essential component of any tourist hotspot. It was once the tiltyard for the Palace of Whitehall – the place where jousters would battle for the pleasure of the King and his consorts. Over time, however, and with the migration to Buckingham Palace by the Royals, the grounds were taken as part of the HQ of the British Army, and thus the Parade was devoted more for ceremonial processions and official celebrations than for personal fancies of the royals. Today it is still devoted to ceremonial processions, although the British Army no longer uses the adjoining buildings as its headquarters.
At the Royal Mews were more impressive carriages, ones I have seen the Queen and Prince Philip riding in. Some others in the collection are the Scottish State Coach, built in 1833, the Irish State Coach, the Glass Coach and others including the Australian State Coach, which was presented to Her Majesty as a Bi-Centennial gift from the people of Australia in 1988. Being Aussie, I was particularly interested in this one.
All of the carriages on display in the Royal Mews are working carriages, not just museum pieces.
In addition to the collection of carriages, the Royal Mews houses collection of ornate livery and harness through the ages and some of the Royal Cars are on display.
I loved seeing the Royal Carriages. These are displayed beautifully, and I was ALLOWED TO TAKE PHOTO'S.
One of the most impressive on display, was "The Gold State Coach," an enclosed, eight horse-drawn carriage used by the British Royal Family.
Built in 1762, this carriage has been used at the coronation of every British monarch since George IV. The coach's great age and weight of 4 tons, limits its use to coronations, royal weddings, and the jubilees of a monarch.
The coach is gilded and features painted panels by Giovanni Cipriani and rich gilded sculpture including three cherubs on the roof (representing England, Ireland and Scotland) and four tritons, one at each corner (representing Britain's imperial power). The interior is lined with velvet and satin
Originally driven by a coachman, the horses are now postilion-ridden in pairs. So much glittering gold, I nearly needed sunglasses!
The Royal Mews was on my wish list to see, so I was pleased we had the time to visit.
We could have taken a FREE 45 minute GUIDED TOUR WITH A GUIDE, but decided on the FREE AUDIO TOUR at our own pace instead. Sometimes we listened into the tour.
We managed to see and pat just one of the Queen’s horses that draw the coaches and carriages in the Mews. The rest were being loaded onto a Float while we were there, they were heading for a break in the countryside.
The Horse was one of the Cleveland Bays, used to escort newly appointed High Commissioners and Ambassadors to their audience with The Queen.
None of the famous Windsor Greys were in their stables.
Between April and October, you can take a free 45-minute guided tour of the Royal Mews. The tours are led by the Wardens, dressed in their red and navy livery, and depart at regular intervals throughout the day at the start of the visit.
1 April - 31 October 10 - 5PM
1 November - 21 December Monday to Saturday 10 -4 PM
A typical visit lasts 1 hour.
The Royal Mews is closed:
During State Visits and royal events
ADMISSION (all include an audio tour)
Over 60/Student (with valid ID) £7.50
Under 17 £5.20
Under 5 Free
Family (2 adults, 3 under 17s) £22.00
Even though we didn't like the Palace, we did like the gardens, and these are FREE TO VISIT.
The Gardens were beautifully laid out and were full of colour. These were the Italian Gardens, a 150-year-old ornamental water garden located near Lancaster Gate. It is believed to have been created as a gift from Prince Albert to Queen Victoria.
Also in the gardens, is the elaborate Albert Memorial, commemorating the death of Prince Albert in 1861 of typhoid, and the Diana Memorial Playground, a FREE PLAYGROUND in memory of Princess Diana
The gardens are open at 6 am daily
I usually like Palaces, but Kensington Palace was weird!
Located in Chelsea London, Kensington Palace is a royal residence used by the British Royal Family since the 17th century.
It's the official London residence of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester and Prince and Princess Michael of Kent, while the Duke and Duchess of Kent reside at Wren House. Kensington Palace is also used on an unofficial basis by Prince Harry, as well as his cousin Zara Phillips.
It was the official residence of Diana, Princess of Wales (from 1981 until her death in 1997), Princess Margaret (from 1960 until her death in 2002) and Princess Alice (from 1994 until her death in 2004).
The State Rooms are open to the public. When we entered the Palace, in the reception was this piece of art work resembling a dead tree hanging from the ceiling, then further into the Palace there were more. Why, I don't know! A lot of the rooms were very dark and had unusual lighting and displays, nothing like I had seen in another Palace.
Neither my husband or I enjoyed this Palace, in our opinion, not worth seeing.
Summer hours are usually from 10 - 6pm
Winter hours are usually from 10 - 5pm
This is an interesting place to visit - it shows the work they do. The museum shows the ceremonial side of their lives and the real life soldiering they do. The museum profits support the soldiers and their families affected by the recent military action.
The museum is open daily, although they are closed on the 24 and 25 December -
March to September (10.00 - 18.00)
October to February (10.00 - 17.00)
In 2007 they were:
Best UK Tourism Project Finalist 2007 as voted by The British Guild of Travel Writers
The men you see around Buckingham Palace and around London are not only ceremonial guards. While upholding the traditions of the past, they perform duties throughout the world as professional soldiers and are known as some of the most elite and skilled soldiers in the British Army. The responsibility of guarding the Sovereign by the Household Troops dates back to the time of Henry VII (1485-1509). They take an active role in protecting their Sovereign and at night they patrol the grounds of both Buckingham Palace and St. James's Palace. These are some of the best soldiers in the British Army and have fought in many major areas of conflict since the 17th Century.
The Household Division is made up of seven Regiments and comprise of the Household Cavalry Regiment, The Life Guards and the Blues and Royals along with five other Regiments of Foot Guards, the Grenadier Guards, the Coldstream Guards, The Scots Guards, the Irish Guards and the Welsh Guards.
Following is the breakdown of the dress code for the Guards:
Life Guards - Wear a metal helmet with a white plum on the helmet, red tunic no buttons
Blues & Royals – Wear a metal helmet with a red plume on helmet, blue tunic no buttons
Grenadier - Wear a bearskin cap with a white plume worn on the left, red tunic singly buttons
Goldstream - Wear a bearskin cap with a red plume worn on the right, red tunic, pairs of buttons
Scots-Wear a bearskin cap with no plume, red tunic threes of buttons
Irish - Wear a bearskin cap with a blue plume worn on the right, red tunic, fours of buttons
Welsh - Wear a bearskin cap with a white/green/white plume worn on the left, red tunic, fives of buttons
This ceremony takes place at 11.00am each day(10am on Sundays) also at 4pm and is a spectacle of pomp and ceremony, British tradition remains in tact and proud we are of it.
For more informatin please go to the website provided.
It takes place at Horse Guards Parade ground, in Horse guards road which runs off The Mall at the eastern end of St James Park. The best place to view it is on the eastern side of the parade ground where you will find a roped off area. Do not stand at the western side of the ropes as they move them when the horses enter the roped off area causing all sorts of pushing & shoving as people are forced to move to avoid the incoming horses. If you arrive 15 minutes before the start time of 11am you should be able to secure a good viewing position, stay put & enjoy the whole show just metres away
The Albert Memorial is a monument built in memory of Prince Albert, consort of Queen Victoria. Queen Victoria ordered the construction of the monument, built in Gothic style by Gilbert Scott in 1861, shortly after the death of Prince Albert. The Albert Memorial was laid in the south of Hyde Park and close to other places associated with Prince Albert as the Royal Albert Hall. The Albert Memorial can be seen no less than 169 sculptures of various characters known from four continents: Europe, Asia, America and Africa.
El Albert Memorial es un monumento construido en memoria del príncipe Albert, consorte de la Reina Victoria. El monumento fue mandado construir por la Reina Victoria y erigido, en estilo neogótico, por Gilbert Scott en 1861, poco después de la muerte del príncipe Albert. El Albert Memorial se colocó en la zona sur de Hyde Park, y próximo a otro de los lugares relacionados con el príncipe Albert como es el Royal Albert Hall. En el Albert Memorial se pueden observar nada menos que 169 esculturas de diversos personajes conocidos de cuatro continentes: europeo, asiático, americano y africano.