Success is getting what you want; happiness is liking what you get

Friday, 15 August 2008

Buckingham Palace

What can we say? The state rooms that are opened for public viewing in the summer season are just mind blowing. We had purchased our (timed) tickets the previous day and queued up with a huge crowd waiting to get in to this London landmark. After going through security we collected our audio guides and started our tour. We went up the Grand Staircase and into the Green Drawing Room, with it's walls hung with pale green silk. From there we went into the Throne Room and the long Picture Gallery, the Silk Tapestry Room, the East Gallery and into the Ballroom. This magnificent room was set out as it would be for a State Banquet. On the tables were silverware, the beautiful dinner service, crystal, and flower arrangements, it really looked superb.
The State Dining Room was dominated by a huge highly polished mahogany table, and our audio guide informed us that is is not covered with a table cloth when used as the table settings look so wonderful on the rich timber. The Blue Drawing Room, the Music Room, followed by the White Drawing Room were just as wonderful to view We then went through the Marble Hall with it's collection of marble statues and lastly into the Bow Room which overlooks the gardens.
Our impressions are: wonderful red carpets, beautiful domed ceilings, and a colour scheme of (mostly) white and gold. Add to this priceless paintings, marbles, works of art, tapestries, wonderful pieces of furniture. There was just so much to look and admire. We were not permitted to take photos inside, unfortunately, so we can not show you any of the treasures we saw. Guess this photo ban ensures that paying guests purchase a souvenir guide!!

Back view of Buckingham Palace

Lake Buckingham Palace

Later in the day we visited the British Red Cross building. Before leaving home Jenny discovered that one of the famous Changi Quilts are housed here. Four of these quilts were made by women civilian prisoners held in Changi Prison when Singapore was over run by the Japanese. The quilts were made of individually embroidered squares. Australia holds two more of the quilts and the whereabouts of the fourth is unknown. The Curator of the Archives took us for a private viewing so that Jenny could have a really good look at this piece of history.

Changi Quilt


Mary Emma Allen said...

How exciting that you got to see one of the Changi Quilts. I've read about them and seen pictures, but never have had the opportunity to see one "in person."

Mary Emma (blogger at

Robin and Jenny said...

Yes, it was a real thrill. As we were visiting London, it was an ideal oppurtunity to get up close to this one. I believe that there are 2 more Changi quilts in Canberra, Australia.

Lindi said...

I've read the book but I'd love to see it in person. Thanks for showing it here.