Thursday, 18 August 2011

My Royal Visit

The long awaited day arrived and I set off on the train up to Victoria Railway station knowing that I would soon see "The Dress" in the flesh.

I am lucky to be able to get up to Victoria within 30 minutes from my local railway station. Buckingham Palace is only a few minutes walk from the station.

I arranged to meet my Mum and my Aunt at Victoria at 10.15 am so that we would have plenty of time to arrive for our 10.45am slot at the Palace, they are all timed tickets.

As we made our way past the gates of the Palace we saw lot of a adverts for the opening of the State Rooms. It was very busy in the area.

Eventually we found our way to the correct gate and then had to queue to get through security.

Once through security obviously (sadly) we were unable to take any further photos so I will give a written guide to what I saw.

Everyone was given a free audio guide which worked really well as it kept the crowds moving all the time. Several of the State rooms in all their glory were open to the public. We entered and walked up the red carpet of the main staircase. Even the decoration of the bannister's were dripping gold leaf and intricate designs.   One of my favourite rooms was the Throne Room where the formal photos of William and Kate's wedding were. The decoration in there was just magical.

After meandering through the opulence of the different reception rooms we arrived at where "The Dress" was on display. There was almost a hush from the crowd as we approached. Then everyone seemed to gasp. The dress is in the centre of the room with special netting around to protect it. In the flesh it is just stunning. The detail of the back of the dress which has folds like a flower bud are wonderful. Every piece of lace was made by hand and stitched on by hand. It is a very pale ivory colour.  The needlewoman used new needles every 3 hours to keep them sharp. Also on display was Kate's diamond tiara, a replica of her flowers, her diamond earrings and her lace covered shoes. I was surprised to see that she wore very high heels for the day...."killer heels" as my daughter would describe them. The same lace was used on the shoes as on  her dress.

Through in the next room was their wedding cake which I thought was as spectacular as the dress and a joy to see. Here is a link to it. As a fellow cake maker I could see the skill in making all those wonderful flowers in sugar paste. The attention to detail was phenomenal.17 different flowers and leaves were included which all had special meanings in the "Language of flowers".

After finishing our tour we were able to sit outside and have lunch in the garden cafe, and also take some photos!
This is the back exit of the Palace leading into the gardens.

With my zoom I managed to get a photo of one of the chandeliers through an open window. The lights were an exhibition all of their own. They sparkled brilliantly and were so large they hung like huge dripping waterfalls of gems from the ceilings.

On the left below is the garden cafe where we enjoyed some lunch. I had a smoked salmon bagel, cup of tea and.................

No less than Buckingham Palace strawberry ice cream....yum!
We then were able to stroll round the footpath of some of the garden towards the shop
We then headed further round the garden and enjoyed some splendid views of the back of the Palace.
and some of the garden and the lake..

So what did I bring home...well I bought the post card which I have shown a photo of at the very beginning of this post, here is it's reverse...a "real" Royal postcard..
and as I bought a CK tea towel at the time of the wedding I though I would buy one at the Palace too.

It's very pretty and will also be useful, I do like souvenirs that I can actually enjoy using. Much better than something sitting in a cabinet or hidden away.

If you get a chance, do go to see "The Dress", it is worth the time. One other thing, if you buy your tickets on line and "gift aid" the money (if you are a UK tax Payer) you can get your ticket stamped at the exit and it becomes a whole year pass. Seriously.....I can go back again, as many times as I want, before 18th August 2012. My daughter really wanted to come today but work commitments stopped her. However I can now wait until she can take a day off and I can go back with her before the exhibition shuts in October. I can also go again when the State rooms re open next Summer, how good is that?

I hope you enjoyed you visit with me. Wishing you all a wonderful weekend, we're nearly there again. It's been quite dull weather wise this week here in Surrey. We are off to a family and soon to be "In Laws" barbecue on Saturday. It will be fun, what ever the weather.
Enjoy your weekend and thanks always for your visits and comments.

Bye for now,

Jane x


  1. How lovely to see 'the dress' Jane! I can't believe it's almost a year since we did the tour, at that time the royal couple weren't even engaged.
    I got my ticket stamped too but unfortunately I don't live as near to the palace as you and I didn't get the chance to return, sadly. :(
    Vivienne x

  2. Just hop back on a plane and come over Vivienne ;0) Seriously though I am very lucky that we are so near. I never ever get bored visiting London, I shall probably never get to see everything even if I live to 100!!
    Jane x

  3. Oh Jane, the post starting with THE dress was just wonderful! Thank you so much for sharing even the cameras were not allowed inside! I must ask still: was the dress tiny? She looked so petite in TV and it's said to ADD pounds still...(see how important things I focus on???) I also love the tea-towel you bought, and as you said it's a perfect souvenir: it's used and enjoyed in your home!

    Have a sunny and beautiful weekend, it's getting better here too! See you next week and kisses to Billy-boy again!


  4. Mia the dress was really tiny, she must have such a tiny waist, and as I said I was surprised how high her heels were for the day!She is a very petite girl but always looks glowing with health and happiness.
    Billy is lying in a sunbeam at the moment and sends you a big purr.Enjoy your weekend too,
    Jane x

  5. Hi Jane! No way I could go there so I do enjoyed this trip! The Dress is just so beautiful!
    Thank you for exiting photos!
    xxx Teje

  6. It's certainly a cheaper option Teje, glad you enjoyed your visit with me.
    Jane x

  7. Hi Jane, I never imagined a "real" peek into a palace such as this! What patient and nimble fingers were necessary to create such delicate work- on both the dress and the cake!
    Always a joy to see the garden pics, too- such magnificence!
    Hope you have a fun weekend BBQ- hope you get some fresh corn! ;o)

  8. The garden there was more like a park Michele, complete with lake! Enjoy your weekend too, corn or no corn ;0)
    Jane x

  9. Oh wow, Jane.. thanks for taking us along with you to see "the dress"! I also love the pearls and citrine you got and can't wait to see what you do for the wedding jewelry. I made my daughter's tiara for her wedding, using sterling silver wire and flower shaped crystals. Reminds me I need to get a photo of it before she moves. *wah* I just got back from my camping trip so I do hope you come to see the pix. ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

  10. Great too see you back after your wonderful holiday Teresa,thanks for your visit to me here.
    Jane x

  11. 'The Dress' is so beautifully made, Jane - how lovely you were able to see it close up! Your royal visit looks such a fun day, not only seeing the dress but the whole experience of being in the palace and it's grounds...and I would have loved the pink ice cream! The tea towel is such a pretty colour and will bring you happy memories for a long time to come. Have a wonderful weekend.
    Helen x

  12. Hi Helen, Buckingham Palace even without the dress is a fab day out!Put it on the to do list!
    Off to the family and nearly In Laws now for a BBQ and the sun is shining,
    Enjoy your weekend,
    Jane x

  13. Somehow I never expected the palace to have such pretty grounds around it. Too bad they wouldn't let you take pictures inside, but you gave an excellent description. Thanks for the tour!

  14. Hi Linda, I'm glad you enjoyed my "tour", enjoy the last bit of the weekend,
    Jane x


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