The morning of our tour around Buckingham Palace’s state rooms and the Royal Mews, I had woken up with a bad back. By the time we got off the tube train at Green Park station my back pain (I had taken tablets only 30 minutes before) was getting worse. Already by 10am that morning it was fairly hot, but Green Park brought a welcome coolness, as well as being such a peaceful park to stroll through.
I must mention the staff at the Palace are incredible. It was extremely busy, but they are well organised, helpful and as long as you turn up early for your booked tour time, all should proceed smoothly. My first security check of the day and a wave of the ‘wand’ because of my belt, and a couple of pounds I forget were in my pocket (oops), then we picked up our audio headsets and headed towards the state rooms.
The audio guide is very well done and there are often additional bits of information, available at the touch of a button. There is no rush to progress through the state rooms, but naturally there were a lot of tourists partaking in the experience, so patience waiting to look in detail at an item or area is required at times.
By this stage my back was getting worse and climbing the incredible staircases I felt three times my age, including walking at a rather slow pace, often a footstep bringing on yet more pain. I’m a stubborn person and wasn’t going to let the pain stop me.
Alas no photography is allowed inside the state rooms (hence all the outdoor photos!), but as you can imagine the sheer scale, expense and grandeur were breathtaking. It was worth the time to visit and the audio guide gave it more depth.
The dress Kate Middleton wore at her wedding was on display, including welcomed seating as there was a tv presentation on loop about the making of her dress. So as I rested my back I watched five minutes or more detailing the making of the dress. Now I appreciate the dress is great, but I only sat down as I desperately needed to sit down due to pain, but many others were enthralled by the presentation and dress you could walk around.
Also part of the tour were displays of the Royal family’s Fabergé collection, including Fabergé eggs. Again the audio tour provided interesting detailed information about the collection.
Once we had finished the tour, we ventured outside into the heat, but quickly found shade in the gardens, where grey squirrels are to be found. I must admit the gardens were not what I expected – no amazing flower displays along the walk we took, but very pleasant calming surroundings, blocking off much of the noise of the busy road just over the wall.
Again I set off the security sensor (oops). Audio headsets collected, once again we strolled around taking in the rich history of the location.
Possibly within an hour we had left the Royal Mews, compared to a much longer time spent strolling through the state rooms, but the entrance fee difference does reflect the different venues.