on August 26, 2011
Come with me as I walk you around the palace.Entry is via the ambassadors entrance, up a few stairs and along a corridor around the perimeter of the quadrangle. You are not rushed and can stop and take your time at your leisure to look at and admire the fine works of art and anything else that catches your eye. The entrance to the palace itself was via a side door beside the Grande covered entrance whereas before it was through the entrance into the large ornate reception room where the Queen meets her guests. There are large Chinese urns dotted around this area and a few chairs. The carpet is all red and it certainly sets the scene of grandeur of the State rooms of the palace. To the left hand side is the grand staircase which looks directly up towards the state apartments however half way up the central staircase the stairs bifurcates splitting in two going up in a circular direction so that you come back on yourself to reach the first floor and the state rooms. The staircase is gold gilt and there is a parapet that overlooks the staircase. Around the walls are large paintings of close relatives of Queen Victoria. At the top of the staircase there is a frosted glass dome that helps flood the staircase with light. Each pane has been acid etched and there are angels at the base of the panes. Entering through the first room which is a small guard room there are marble statues either side of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert dressed in Roman clothes.The Green Room.The green room is decorated in green with matching furniture and large wall to ceiling windows leading out to a small balcony. The ceiling is vaulted and adorned with gold leaf against a cream background. There is a massive crystal chandelier in the centre of the room. This room acts as an ante chamber for people waiting to enter the throne room.The Throne Room.The throne room is decorated in red with two chairs ahead of you on a small raised dais. The two chairs have the initials ER and P embroidered in gold against a red background and the royal insignia which were specifically made for the Queen for her coronation. There are also chairs in this room that were made for Queen Victoria and King George V and the Queen Mother. On the walls either side of the throne chairs are four gold trophies that belonged to King George IV and were brought to Buckingham Palace from Carlton house. 1795.There is an exceptionally large chandelier in the centre of the room and four smaller ones in each of the four corners. The ceilings are cream with gold shields representing the United Kingdoms of Scotland, Ireland and England. There are gilt roses representing the war of the roses. Around the top of the room there is a white frieze of various battles. The throne area is separated by two columns at the top of which are marble angels.The wall paper is red and so are the curtains with gold braiding along the edges. In the centre of the room is a large marble fireplace with a gilt mirror above it. In front of the mirror is a large gold coloured clock from 1800.The picture gallery.The picture gallery is 50 meters long. The walls are bestowed with precious works by Canaletto, Rueben and Van Dyke. There are fireplaces along the corridor which have electric bar fires in them. Electric sockets are hidden under discs that are the same colour and texture of the wall paper. This room is splendid and is nice and bright due to the frosted glass ceiling which lets in natural light. The Diamond Jubilee exhibition.This year being the Queens diamond Jubilee year celebrating her 60 Years as Queen of the United Kingdom. The exhibition is in a darkened room with display cases.The collection of Diamonds includes jewellery made from the Cullinan diamond. Some of the diamond jewellery is hundreds of years old but most of what was on display were personal jewellery most of which has been inherited and passed down to the queen. Three crowns I found particularly interesting. I found most interesting the small coronet Queen Victoria made following the death of Prince Albert. She had this small coronet made from a necklace her husband had bought for her. It contains 1187 diamonds measuring 8 centimetres wide and 10 centimetres tall. It was de rigeur to wear such a small crown for someone in mourning. The second crown I was interested in was the George IV State Diadem crown which was made in 1820. It is a personal possession of the Queen and is probably the most recognised of all the crowns as the Queen is wearing on all coinage and stamps. She wears this crown for the procession to the state opening of parliament containing 1333 diamonds. Its estimated value is £50 million pounds.The final crown I liked was the George III diamond tiara which has been worn by many Queens since first obtained. It is really beautiful but I did notice that there was a diamond missing from one of the columns. It can be worn as a Tiara or a necklace.The East Gallery.The East gallery takes you across to the rear side of the palace passing into the Ball room and passing a large painting of Queen Victoria’s coronation.The State Ball room.The ballroom was added to the palace by Queen Victoria and was at the time the largest room in London. It was here that grand balls are held and investitures. At one end of the ballroom there is a large organ State banquets take place in the State ballroom due to its size and it is able to accommodate up to 150 guests.The State Dining room.The state dining room is beautiful the walls being covered with red embossed paper whilst around the walls are paintings of senior members of the royal family including George III, Queen Charlotte, George IV amongst others. There is Sevres pottery on dressers around the side of the dining room as there are in other rooms.The Music room also known as the Bow Room.The music room is where Royal christenings have taken place notably that of Prince Charles, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew, Prince William and Harry. Prince Edward was christened at Windsor castle in the private chapel. The room overlooks the gardens at the rear. It has columns that are painted to resemble Blue lapis lazuli. The ceilings are domed and ingrained in blues and gold leaf. The floor is marquetry wood and there is a grand piano in the room.The Blue Drawing room.Prior to the building of the ballroom this room was used to hold balls. There are thirty columns in this room which were originally a raspberry colour the walls were covered in crimson damask and the curtains were red. Queen Mary insisted that the room be re decorated and the thirty columns were painted to resemble onyx and the walls hung with Blue flock wallpaper. In the centre of the room there is a large marble fireplace with a massive clock on the mantle. Either side of the fire place are life size paintings of Queen Mary and King George V. There are four large crystal chandeliers hanging from the ceiling. At the top of the walls are plaster casts of figurines and the ceiling is indented with gold leaf.The final State room is the white drawing room.This has to be one of the most beautiful rooms in the palace. The decor is bright and airy and the furniture is yellow and gold. In this room that the Queen will meet distinguished guests. The room has four ebony veneered cabinets two at each end of the room. Above each cabinet there is a large mirror. One of the cabinets is a concealed doorway through which the Queen makes her entrance mostly unbeknown to her guest. It is quite a dramatic entrance and certainly would be a talking point. There is also a large writing bureau in this room which is very ornately decorated.This concludes the tour of Buckingham palace. You leave the state rooms via a staircase which brings you to the long corridor at the rear of the house which has more paintings and marble heads on pillars along the passage way. You then go into the lovely bow room which is directly under the music room with fine dinner services in display cabinets then out to a patio area and the gardens In total there are over 755 rooms in Buckingham Palace of which 19 are state rooms, 52 are Royal and guest bedrooms, 188 Staff bedrooms, 92 offices and 78 bathrooms. Over 800 people work in the palace ranging from jobs as housemaids to office assistants.
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