In case you couldn’t tell by my previous posts, the Royal family is obviously a big deal here in England. Thus, I decided to dedicate a post to all the royal sights in London! We felt very Queenly after our adventures.
1. Buckingham Palace
You know the resident of the palace, Queen Elizabeth II, is in house because the Royal flag is up and there are four guards outside instead of two. We watched the daily changing of the guards with masses of other visitors.
The Palace is a bumping place. It is still the administrative center of the monarchy, but also the location of many national celebrations and events. It is still a family home, with the Queen having given birth to Prince Charles and Prince Andrew in the palace, the baptism of many of the royal family’s children occurring there, as well as the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
2. Parliament Buildings
Much fancier than Buckingham Palace were the parliament buildings, which were more grand than I had imagined. Perhaps because they were rebuilt due to a fire which destroyed most of the building.
The Parliament buildings, better known as the Palace of Westminster, are composed of the House of Commons and House of Lords. Perhaps because they were recently rebuilt due to a fire. The buildings are now a protected UNESCO World Heritage Site, and many people will recognize the iconic “Big Ben” – the main bell located in clock tower of the Elizabeth Tower.
In this same area is Westminster Abbey (probably the most notable church in the UK and where coronation takes place), Trafalgar Square, and the National Museum.
PS. You can tell the roads owned by the Royal family by which ones have little crowns atop their light posts.
3. Crown Jewels
Behind a massive door we entered the vault holding various royal crowns. The current Queen’s crown was very bedazzled, with a massive diamond and sapphire as the centrepiece. Probably the biggest diamond I’ll ever see! No pictures were allowed, so here are ones of the grounds instead:
This might have nothing to do with the Queen, but in between our Royal activities we fed ourselves via the variety of fresh markets throughout London. Our favorite was the Borough Market, nestled underneath Tower Bridge. While buying meats, produce, cheeses, spreads, and other things you hear the cars rushing by above your head.
And while we’re at it, why not have a glass of cider or two (so many options on tap!) with some fish and chips?