Decided we better visit Buckingham Palace, official residence of Queen Elizabeth, while the State Rooms are still open to the public. They will close on 7 October until next summer. In addition to the State Rooms, the tour included the Royal Mews and The Queen’s Gallery.
We started off with The Gallery ~ the largest exhibition of anatomical drawings by Leonardo Di Vinci. I’ve seen Di Vinci’s artistic work including the Mona Lisa and The Last Supper amongst others but I didn’t realize he pioneered the understanding of human anatomy. Unfortunately, the drawings on display at the Gallery were unpublished, due to his death in 1519, until 400 years later. What a loss. It was fascinating to see all he accomplished regarding anatomy drawings even BEFORE he did an actual autopsy. Such a prolific amount of work ~
Next stop was a visit to the Royal Mews which is responsible for any road travel for the Queen and members of the royal family ~ the mews includes carriages, the Rolls Royce and, of course, horses. The staff of the mews and their families live on the second floor of the building.
The Gold State Coach ~ it’s been used for every coronation since George IV and it takes 8 draft horses to pull it.
Logan and I in front of the Mews Living Quarters (second floor):
Lastly, we visited the State Rooms ~ of course, they are impressive with paintings (Reubens, Rembrandt,etc), sculptures (my favorite is the Mars & Venus by Canova), porcelain and English & French furniture. I also loved seeing all the portraits of past royalty. I especially liked the one of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert with their children. Another bonus of going this year is a special Jubilee celebration display of the Queen’s diamonds. Lots of bling to be seen. Photos are not allowed indoors but we snapped a few outside from the gardens.
I’m glad we did the tour but, wow, it was so crowded with the hordes of tourists. I’m saving some of the other touristy places for the winter with the hopes it’ll be less crowded. At least that’s how it is in DC. Our list of things to do and see in London is long but I also have a list of things we won’t be doing while we’re here including Madam Tussauds Wax Museum and this:
Never had to keep a “not to do” list but with so many choices, it’s good to narrow the field a bit. Thankfully, I found a great London blog called London Unveiled which suggests some very good off the beaten track options.