The Queen’s Royal Pad
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The first time I visited the palace was Christmas time late in the evening. The sun had set by 3:30 pm so it was pitch-black except for a few streetlights. Despite the lack of light, I thought the palace looked incredible. I was so excited to finally stand in front of one of the most recognised buildings in the world, with only a handful of tourists around.
When I returned a few years later on a summer afternoon, there were literally thousands of people around. I made the mistake of going on a public holiday, so I had quite a few accidental photobombers! Seeing the palace in daylight was like viewing it again for the first time. The detailed façade of the building was even more beautiful to look at – despite having to look through huge iron gates! I would definitely recommend visiting during the day if you can but, viewing the palace in the dark is better than not seeing it at all.
If you happen to be there at 11.30 am, you can witness the daily Changing of the Guard ceremony. My great uncle was a Grenadier Guard at Buckingham Palace in the 1930s, so I often think of him when I am there. When my Gran was a little girl, she went to see her brother in his uniform stand on duty outside the palace. She spotted him and excitedly ran
over shouting his name. But he was not allowed to talk to her and stood still the entire time. My great Great-Gran had to take my poor little Granny away from her brother as she became very upset. I guess this would answer the million-dollar question as to whether or not the guards can move while on duty. The answer is no.
Try and book yourself onto one of the guided tours, typically run between July to September annually while The Queen is holidaying at Balmoral Castle in Scotland. I have heard from acquaintances that they are amazing. I haven’t done it yet, but it’s on my Bucket List. If you are serious about booking the tour, book it as soon as you can because they sell out quickly.
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Westminster, London SW1A 1AA | http://www.royal.uk