Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Guess where I went yesterday?
No, not the Olympics but to Buckingham Palace. I'm afraid I wasn't invited to tea with the queen (although I did really have tea with her when I was young). The queen wasn't even in residence and I went as an ordinary tourist. But I'd never been round all the state rooms before and since my heroine Lady Georgie is always popping in to the palace to see her relatives I wanted to soak up as much atmosphere as possible.

And the interesting this was this overwhelming sense of deja vue. We entered through the Ambassador's Entrance and my first thought was oh yes, I remember Georgie came in this way once. We stood looking onto the huge central quadrangle and I found myself looking up at the rooms to my left--the private apartments of the royal family. Ah yes--Georgie was up there once and nearly knocked over the queen when she tripped over a footman's foot. (Now I know why they are called footmen!)

As we progressed through the rooms I kept seeing large and valuable objects that might be knocked over by someone rather clumsy like Georgie (or me?) And I was astounded that we were walking on lovely, lovely carpets throughout the palace. No strip down for us peasants. I asked one of the young girl wardens how often the carpets need to be cleaned. "Well they are good quality carpets, you know," she said.
At the end of the tour we find ourselves at the palace cafe and the palace shop. The shop is full of lovely things at a very lovely price. I'm sure it costs a lot to keep a house with 247 bedrooms going, so I bite the bullet and buy a little gold crown to go around my neck (for when I do talks and signings of course). And a complete guide to the palace to remind me.
But I draw the line at towels with Buckingham Palace on them--I would be rather pretentious to dry one's back on the queen's monogram, don't you think?

We exit through the gardens, around a pretty lake and through quite dense shrubbery (a potential place for evil deeds in a future book??)

All in all very useful (and reaffirming that I really did get it right in all the books) and at least now I'll know where I'm going when I arrive to be made a dame!  (My husband commented that I'll come from a-broad to become a dame)

1 comment:

  1. When they make you a dame, will you be Dame Rhys or Dame Janet? How does that work?

    While watching the Olympics, they showed the Tower of London. I remember visiting as a child of about 5 and the beefeater taking me up front so I could see the crown jewels better. I marveled at their beauty but couldn't figure out what the queen was wearing if her crown was on display. I thought she wore her crown daily.