As someone who thinks that the best place for royalty is on a stamp or coin it was strange to find myself on a tour around Buckingham Palace and gardens but the place isn’t open that often and I wanted to see just exactly where my 56p pence was going.
I’m sure you will be surprised to hear that rather than welcoming someone who subsidises her each year not only was Liz not there to greet me but she also charged me 30 quid for the privilege of looking at stuff I think should belong to the state anyway. She also had the effrontery to insist that no photos could be taken inside or out. I took that as a challenge and ended up with the picture above.
The tour itself was arranged a little bit like a trip to IKEA in that it was all one way and you were corralled to where they wanted you to go. Also like IKEA it was packed the difference being that we had paid to go round the palace. This felt a little bit greedy on the part of the Royal Collection as in some areas it was almost impossible to move and it certainly wasn’t possible to see anything.
What was it like inside? Well pretty much as you would expect. Lots of old furniture and paintings. In fact it could do with some modernisation and so I would recommend a trip to IKEA, certainly might bring down that £150M renovation price tag…
Following our visit inside we had booked a tour round the gardens which at least was a little more selective as about 30 of us were given a guided view of the 50-odd acres. It was not anything like I expected in that it was a landscape originally conceived by Capability Brown and he was not big on flower beds so there wasn’t much colour (other than green and browns). That might also have something to do with the fact that a lot of the plants have been gifted to the Queen over the years and nobody seems to have thought of giving her a simple potted plant.
Would I recommend it? Probably not but then I’m no great royalist.