Buckingham Palace – To see the Queen !

Today is our last day in London and we need to go sight-seeing… squeeze in all the things we have missed out in the past week.. being Malaysians and all:)

So here we are. Buckingham Palace was built in 1702 by the Duke of Buckingham as his London home. The house was then later sold to George III in 1761 by the Dukes son. In 1774 it was renamed “Queen’s House” as Queen Charlotte resided there. Buckingham Palace finally became the official royal palace of the British monarch on the accession of Queen Victoria in 1837. (Read more here)

DSC06865For me, it was just a way to kill time before lunch. Having seen the changing of guards like a million times, I had to stifle a yawn as my enthusiastic companions ushered me towards the palace grounds. Oh God.. at least the weather was magnificent – almost like a day in summer except that it was 9 degrees Celsius! I decided to distract myself form watching the time (till the clock struck 11.30a.m. and proceeded to (a) take as many awesome photos as I could (b) talk to strangers (c) talk to myself.

DSC06866Jeez.. it’s only 10.15 a.m. The Changing of the Guard takes place in the forecourt of Buckingham Palace at 11.30 a.m. every day in summer, every other day in winter, and lasts about 45 minutes. Another hour  or so to go. Woe is me!.. I start chomping aggressively on a jelly bean that a lovely couple from Liverpool had handed to me. Thank God for nice English folk who carry sugar treats in their handbags.

DSC06867Do you like this shot? I took many, many angles of the angel! Incidentally that ‘angel’ is in fact, not an angel, but rather a winged statue known as the  Queen Victoria memorial –  a gilded statue of “victory”. Wow, when I die, I wonder if I can get wings put on me.. like hot, gold ones I mean:P

DSC06870Apparently, the State Rooms of the Palace are open to visitors during the Annual Summer Opening from late July to September. I really wanted to see this.. oh shucks. Shame! (:P)

DSC06872Another really hot angle.. against the bluest sky you will ever see in winter in London!

DSC06897The sun was so bright, it near blinded me.

DSC06903For those who do not receive an invitation to Buckingham Palace, enter the Grand Hall and up the curving marble stairs of the Grand Staircase.. you get to stand outside:P

DSC06904Apparently, these uniformed  men you see in front of Buckingham Palace (and other locations) are not just ceremonial guards but also serving Soldiers. While upholding the traditions of the past, they also perform duties throughout the world as professional soldiers and are known as some of the most elite and skilled soldiers in the British Army.

DSC06906

These are some of the best soldiers in the British Army and have fought in virtually every major area of conflict with great distinction since the 17th Century. They also take an active role in protecting their Sovereign; at night they patrol the grounds of both Buckingham Palace and St. James’s Palace.

Wow! I feel so damn safe being a stone’s throw from these big, strong men, it’s unbelievable.

Finally, an hour passes and it’s nearly time for lunch! Hurray. Our final destination, brings us to the iconic St John. I can smile again.. in anticipation of the meal of my life.


The final and concluding installment to Travel London.. coming right up!

Comments

  1. Aiyo. Taking sweet from strangers?? Babeeee….

    Oh, but so cool – looks like the guards are wearing different outfits from when I was there! Maybe this is their winter uniform? :)

  2. I’ve been to London. But, only for 3days stay. I hope to have a longer stay there in future in order for me to explore the city

  3. did u harass the guards with funny hats? haha

  4. Her Majesty the Royalty is an enigma. Back home in tanah air they are perceived by those who know as useless bloodsuckers ( & pretenders par excellence :( ) but in Britian ( or rather England ) as the guardian of beauty , unity , religion & omg ! God . The current Prince Charming is to us not so charming ever since he acquired a used consort as de granny les miserables
    LOL ! :-D

  5. pussycat, pussycat, where have u been? :D
    so sad… those uniforms really aren’t very flattering … even zac efron wouldn’t look good dressed like that!

  6. You didn’t mock the guard, did you???

  7. Was about to say, don’t they normally dress in red?

  8. nice shot…….. the blue sky with the statue….

  9. so grand a show.

  10. Yayyyy!!! I was hoping you would go to St John. Can’t wait to read the report…

  11. Nothing like good old London for Anglo-phile esp when the sun is out.

  12. one of the must see “event” at London eh…. :)

  13. Ya’know, all the times I’ve been to London, I’ve never been to the Buckingham Palace? Mebbe next time..? :P

  14. Eh check this out, London skyline like you’ve never seen it before! Trust me, u won’t be bored this time sista banana!

    http://tinyurl.com/yfebzzl

  15. J, unka:
    yup difft uniforms apparently

    Michelle:
    then you gotta work fast! LOL.. sight-see like a fiend!

    Eiling, Leo:
    yes.. erm NO! hehe

    BSG:
    LOL.. how true.. totally agree with u

    Sean:
    i find zac E. not very appealing unfortunately.. use another example :P

    PTP, Foodbin:
    yar thx!

    Ming:
    hehe.. i knew you would:P

    WW, mimi:
    agree

    LFB:
    if it were up to me, I don’t think I’d make a repeat visit let alone six. what to do? once is enough :P

    Munkey:
    saw it and RTed .. nice!