Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Buckingham Palace Tour ( kinda) - London staycation

As much as I would have loved to go away to chase some swimming in a lake or beach, I had some mundane tasks to attend to 
so decided to make the most of the decent weather of late and be a tourist in London. 
They get up to all sorts when Queenie isn't around.
I had never been to Buckingham Palace before and decided that I should finally visit it during its limited opening season as they also had a special Coronation exhibition on where you could see the Coronation gown.  Let me safely tell you that the Queen had a fabulous figure with the smallest waist and quite a bust.  
I am sorry to tell you that there was an absolute ban on photos inside and the stewards were vigilant so there was no way I was going to risk the royal family's wrath.
If you would like to see pictures of the interior, you can click here.

What I can show you is pictures of some of the items in the gift shop.  There were so many people and queues of shoppers 
at the till that I was thinking that the this gift shop was 
the true source of their wealth...
Tin plates for picnics and children with designs of Sevres porcelain used at Buckingham Palace.

Anyone looking for Prince George's commemorative souvenirs?
Click here - apparently they also deliver.
The plate is £45 - not cheap folks.
Teddy bear is £95 but online they've sold out but plenty in store.
The color chosen was such a lovely soft powder blue.
This was the rear of the palace and where the tour ended.
There was a huge marquee cafe area overlooking the garden.
The interior of the palace was not as inspirational as I had hoped but the lawn and garden is almost the size of Hyde Park.  
I am considering going on the garden tour as it was so much bigger than I realized and was such an oasis.
The Queen's corgis are so lucky!


You do get to walk along the edge of the garden to leave the grounds and get a extra peek of the gardens.
That lone building in the distance is the Park Lane Hilton.
I don't envy the palace but the garden!
They had another gift shop en route to the exit.
The Queen selling prayers on cushions.
Even on biscuit tins - these were selling like hotcakes!!
I didn't succumb however.
But these were tempting - corgi stuffed toys...
Costume jewellry based on the royal collection.
American tourists seem to be loving and ordering this cake stand based on porcelain that the Queen likes to use regularly according to the staff but it could be a sales ploy.
Yes that does say £2250 for a souvenir Buckingham Palace clock, mind you it does have Swiss quartz movement.

I was very tempted by the books but managed to refrain.




This is something that Del Boy would buy s'il vous plait.

This is the view the Queen walking back home after a round 
in the gardens with her corgis.
There was a pond with much more on the other side of it but I shall only find out on the garden tour.




Her Majesty's weeds. 
That deserved a shot no?
The gardener who was most helpful answering impromptu questions about planting and weeding.

Leaving the palace grounds was trickier than leaving the supermarket till without buying some chewing gum because they had a last minute ice cream stand made by the milk of the Jersey Cows that Queen Victoria bought and rears in Windsor castle.  
I just had to try some.
It was nice but not worth going just to have the ice cream.
After the tour, my friend  joined me on the 
He is so stylish and today's outfit didn't disappoint.
I love the detailing on his trousers.
I adore the collier de chien bracelet and wish I suited it but it just isn't me no matter how many times I try it on. 
But looks great on him.
The lovely entrance to the gallery.
Queen Henrietta's shoes.
There were superb paintings and the exhibition was a well edited and curated collection.
But what I liked especially was the color of the rooms! 
So vibrant, rich and calming. 
It was giving me ideas for my house reno.
This bloke got a whole room to himself!
This was a post-mortem artistic version of Crimewatch.
Do you know this man?
If you recognize him, the palace would like to know!

I must advise that if you do want to visit the palace then you will have to prebook!
The tickets were sold out for several days beforehand and you will not be able to buy on the spot. 
The tours are very popular due to its limited season and the hype of the royal family of late.
Sorry I couldn't show you inside but thought you might want to see the fringes of the tour!

40 comments:

  1. Your friend has a striking resemblance with The Man in Red. He might not like me for that--but I like his CDC :D That George bear is expensive but the OTT coverage of his birth was great marketing for it. Price for the costume jewellery? I like the corgis. That I'll buy for little ones. Was Queen Henrietta a size 38? She can be a Club 38 member :D

    xxx

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    1. I thought my friend would carry of the red outfit as well! I adore the CDC but only on others, it looks sooo odd on me unfortunately...I did check her shoe size funny you mention it! She had small feet - I reckon a 36 ;)

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    2. Oh and forgot the prices of the brooches were reasonable - started at £15 and up! I was quite impressed bc they were well made and good replicas of many of the Queen's collections.

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  2. I always loved the Royal gift shops - such a superior standard of souvenirs. My mother used to have a thing for the little crown key rings they sold at Windsor Castle. Love those tin plates like Sevres... would definitely lift the tone at the next BBQ. Can't believe the size of that garden - it's definitely hidden well.
    You have a very snappily dressed friend, his eye for detail is, indeed, excellent xx

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    1. The gift shops were very very popular indeed - some people needed trolleys no joke. There were lots of American ladies ordering full sets of porcelain as well! But I really liked their book collection - I am on a ban so only bought a magazine based on the exhibition. That garden was sooooooo huge. Must be the size of Kensington gardens. Yes my friend's eye for detail is excellent and nothing gets past him! xx

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  3. I've never been either and I have eaten clapped eyes on the Tower of London! I must do both some time, but when I get to London I just want to wander, shop, drink cocktails and stare at the beautiful people.

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    1. It was a fun day out and it was nice being a tourist here for a change! They do evening tours which are much more civilized and then they give you a glass of champers in one of the state rooms - that is much more you than what I did being herded like cattle...

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  4. I have a bunch of those tin plates and they are the BEST! I use them for picnics, outside dining, on the boat, etc. and they hold up like troupers. They are elegant and very lightweight, and so much more attractive than 99% of the picnic plates out there.

    I even did a story about the plates: http://pigtown-design.blogspot.com/2008/04/tin-picnic-plates.html

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    1. Yours are lovely and I am so tempted however I might have to refrain as I realise how much porcelain I have that I still need to use!

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  5. I was in that very gift shop at the palace in December. They were doing a very brisk business to say the least. The only thing that really tempted me were these gorgeous crowns for decorating the Christmas Tree. Just made for a Christmas Queen. Yes-though pants on your stylish friend are very cool.
    Great post!
    xx, Heather @ Stylemindchic

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    1. They were still selling Xmas tree decorations and they were selling like hotcakes as well. Funny enough prince George's stuff wasn't selling as much as I thought but her classic sevres imitation was the best sellers. Yes I adore his trousers and wish I could fit into them! Xx

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  6. Thanks for the tour ! We were in London with my family a few weeks ago. We visited Kensington Palace : the shop is qute the same...and prices too :I bought nothing but I took photos!

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    1. The photos last as long but are cheaper :)

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  7. Replies
    1. Thank you - was my iphone but found my camera just now!

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  8. Hmmm, only being English by my distant relations (on both sides at least), I can't claim much but yet was also touched by that sweet light blue and loved all of this, N. I always appreciate your honest take on everything--such a clean chaser amidst plenty of hullabaloo.

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    1. I wasn't here during the birth so managed to escape the crazy vigil that was going on but people were really hyped with all the recent royal events and I would love to know the sales figures at the gift shops compared to 10 years ago...

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  9. I took a similar tour 30 years ago although I don't remember the gift shop being that grand.

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    1. There were two just on the way out of the grounds and they have built two more gift shops for people to buy without going on the tour! The Dowager on Downton Abbey would not have been impressed by the royal family's commercial streak.

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  10. When I was in London in 2008 I did do the Tower of London, but we didn't have time for Buckingham Palace except for a courtesy fly-by...

    Love your picks, and her weeds. I need some Georgie swag, I absolutely must have some! As for your friend - he is tres, tres dapper - please tell him he has a fan club in Canada! And that he need to see House of Cards with Kevin Spacey as he has a starring role as a coke addict...

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    1. Next time you visit - you must book all the tours - you would enjoy it tremendously. I will tell him for sure especially when you know your clothes :)

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  11. I would say everything in London iss "not cheap". I don't go there much, I'm not crazy about the city, maybe I'm just a french snob =P

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    1. I understand as I waver about it too. Having said that Europe though broke is still somehow still expensive isnt it??

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  12. I like the look of your friend. Me, him and a stuffed corgi. He'll need more than a cigarette to recuperate from that!

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    1. He gives good verbal repartee. He is the type of bloke you can have a good ol' chinway with claws out and no offence is ever taken...He loves your blog by the way!

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  13. Those pants are inside out, are they not?

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    1. Love it...Shhh, Just don't tell him considering how much they were.

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  14. And also I may be in London at the end of January. Just sayin'

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    1. You must let me know - hopefully I will be in town having survived the winter!

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  15. Hello from Alaska Naomi!! Huge wifi issues so only just read this post! Such a pity about not being able to take photos but hardly surprising I suppose!...But great fun being able to see the Palace from the inside! what a treat!! xx

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    1. Lucky you!!! How is it? That beats most destinations - always wanted to go, cant wait for your pics xx

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  16. Wow, I didn't realise that the garden was so lovely. You don't really get that impression from the outside. x

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    1. It's funny bc the palace is actually quite tacky as palaces go but you know they are the monarchy with all that green pasture next to park lane and piccadilly!! X

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  17. I love this place! So many interesting things to see!
    xoxo

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  18. You must visit next time you are in London bc it is interesting in any case xx

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  19. Naomi,
    Loved seeing a bit about the tour here! I had no idea that they add a cafe on the back! They really make it a fun day out to visit these palaces. I believe Westminster Abbey and Windsor was selling nearly the same items in their gift shops when we were there in June. I almost bought that red tin. I thought it could be cute on a shelf in the kitchen. They are pulling in the money at these places!

    The gardens look huge. Looking at the palace, I had no idea. It would be fun to see that garden tour!
    Thanks for this sneak in! Have a good weekend!!

    xxKim

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    1. Thanks Kim! But the cafe is only during the summer sessions hence the marquee as it is very temporary. Kensington palace is open all year round but Buckingham is open only while the queen is away in Scotland and during her holidays as it is her official London residence. They sure make loads of money dont they? they could live off that income alone :) xx

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  20. Lovely place with lovely collections. Not to be missed.

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Thank you for dropping by!