Results 1-10of 30 Reviews
Rotherham, United Kingdom
August 8, 2012
From journal More from London
Gravesend, United Kingdom
August 26, 2011
Englands Treasure Houses,
London, United Kingdom
September 7, 2010
ashbourne, United Kingdom
September 6, 2010
From journal Our London breaks
August 11, 2009
From journal Historic Places in London
Harlow, Essex, United Kingdom
July 15, 2009
From journal Tourist Time in London!
Ayr, Scotland, United Kingdom
October 7, 2004
Buckingham Palace is the London home and office for Her Majesty The Queen. Here the Royal Family receives and entertains guests on state, ceremonial and official occasions in the Staterooms. Such grandeur and protocol is apt to make guests edgy and nervous, but the Queen herself is expert at putting people at ease. She has no pretentious airs and graces everyone, but show respect towards her.
During the tour, you advance at your own pace, with the help of an audio guide, through the richness and grandeur - it is overwhelming. The building contains sculptures by Canova and Chantrey, exquisite examples of Sèvres porcelain, and some of the finest English and French furniture in the world. Red carpets cover floors extensively, and it is easy to develop a crick in one’s neck looking up at the ornate ceilings.
History and occasion are everywhere. In the scarlet and gold Throne Room sit the coronation chairs used by Her Majesty and Prince Philip in 1953. The magnificent Ballroom, extending to 122 feet, dates from 1856 in Queen Victoria's reign to celebrate the end of the Crimean war. She and Prince Albert were fond of costume balls and music - costumes, musical instruments, manuscripts, photographs, and souvenirs from that period are on display in the Ball Supper Room.
Investitures are held in the Ballroom. Earlier, the queen would do her homework to have a suitable question ready to put the nervous recipients of the awards at ease. The sword used is on display.
The picture gallery designed by Nash contains paintings by Rembrandt, Rubens, Vermeer, Poussin, Canaletto, and Claude. The vibrantly coloured silk walls in the Green Drawing Room provide the perfect compliment to the beautifully coved and gilded ceiling. In the State Dining Room, the red silk damask on the walls makes a fitting background to the state portraits of Kings and Queens from George III to George IV. The dining table itself, when set, has the plates and cutlery set out using a ruler.
The Blue Drawing Room, another of Nash's spectacular rooms has 30 fake onyx columns and a Sevres porcelain table made for Napoleon. From the semicircular bow window of the domed Music Room, there is a clear view of the garden and grounds. The 39-acre garden is an oasis for wildlife, and offers superb views of the Garden Front of the Palace and the 19th-century lake.
Perhaps most magnificent of all is the White Drawing Room, furnished with French antiques and English-cut, glass chandeliers suspended from the ceiling, the delicate colours of the furnishings standing out against the white and gold walls.
Unfortunately, so much grandeur in so many rooms tends to merge as a blur in one’s memory.
Admission: Adults £9
From journal A Royal Tour of London
November 13, 2002
The exhibit was entitled Royal Treasures and what a treasure it is. You come up the formal stairway and are greeted by a bust of Her Majesty. There was a young man stationed beside it who was more than happy to gush on about it, but I was more interested in getting into the gallery.
The first gallery, the Pennethorne Gallery has bright green walls that make a dramatic back drop for Van Dykes monumental equestrian portrait of Charles I. It grabs your attention as soon as you enter the room. Opposite it stands a magnificent boulle secretaire made of ash, oak, pine, brass, copper, tortoise shell ebony, rosewood etc. from the collection of George IV, I’m sure you can get the picture. A small room off this gallery contains a cabinet of miniatures including three by Holbein that are particularly beautiful. I have to admit that miniatures are a real favorite of mine.
The depth of the Queens Collection is obviously immeasurable. On the right wall you have Vermeer’s Lady at the Virginals with a Gentleman and Cranach’s Apollo and Diana and across from them is George de la Tours St. Jerome. In a second cabinet room are Grannies Chips the 3rd and 4th largest Cullinan Stones 63 and 94 carats. Also in this cabinet are the necklace that the Queen wore to her coronation and also her collection of Faberge. I am only touching on the surface of what was here. This is truly magnificence on a magnificent scale.
The Nash Gallery has bright red walls and again they are the perfect backdrop for the paintings chosen for display here. Hogarth, Copley, Stubbs, Zoffany, and Viger LeBrun. It is however Sir Joshua Reynolds portrait with the red jacket, Sr. Thomas Lawrence’s Pope Pius VII with his red cape and chair and Thomas Gainsborough’s Johann Christian Fisher in a maroon suit that really play to the room’s color. These three paintings are all on one wall for maximum affect.
There is a room of sketches that includes a DaVinci, a Michaelangelo and a Raphael. I was impressed. The only jarring moment came when confronted by the hideous Lucien Freud portrait of the Queen.
Even the bathrooms here are luxurious. Make sure you pay them a visit. The gift shop is extensive and expensive. This time I chose to look but didn’t buy.
This particular exhibit will be on through January 3, 2003. But if the past is any indication this is just one of many that the Gallery will have to offer.
From journal London-Once is Never Enough
October 6, 2001
From journal London and Vicinity
July 2, 2000
I was able to tour inside Buckingham Palace in 1994 when the Queen first opened it to the public to raise funds to rebuild Windsor after the fire. I didn't think the outside was all that impressive, especially since I knew that Nash had remodeled it for George IV in the 1820's - I had expected more. What is inside makes up for whatever is lacking on the outside in terms of opulence and over-the-top decor. I can't imagine being a child inside the palace - priceless pieces of furniture, gold inlaid stairs and all kinds of other things, priceless art objects and paintings and portraits, mirrors everywhere.
We weren't allowed to take pictures anywhere inside or even in the courtyards or the lawns. You can buy postcard pictures of the rooms you were able to tour though. As far as I know the palace hasn't been opened to the public again, but with all the anti-royal sentiment and use of tax pounds, it probably will be (or has been and I never noticed). The Queen Victoria Memorial at the center of the traffic circle is a good place to sit and look at the Palace, watch the tourists, watch the guards not move. The changing of the guard only takes place every other day, at 11:30 a.m. but get their early so you can see.
From journal London in any season