In July and August 2017 I travelled with my husband and friends around England, Scotland, Wales, Paris and back to England. It was an amazing trip of over two weeks. By the end we were weary but boy was it worth it!
Below is a journal entry of visits to Royal Mews, Buckingham Palace, Shakespeare’s Globe theatre and then the Lion King.
Credit for the photography goes to the individual photographers as described below.
JULY 29th, 2017
We left our motel the Hyde Park Room and Apartments at 9am after a buffet breakfast. We set out in search of a Golden Tours Hop on Hop Off bus with our first destination of Buckingham Palace.
Buckingham palace guard. Photo source: VANESSA PIKE-RUSSELL
THE ROYAL MEWS
There was no changing of the guard that day so we went next door to the Royal Mews, Home to historic royal carriages and one of the finest working stables in existence. The Royal Mews at Buckingham Palace is responsible for all the road travel arrangements for The Queen and members of the Royal Family. There we took part in a guided tour of the Royal Mews including the horse yards, carriages and more.
Royal Mews horses. Photo source: Royal Collection Trust
Gold Stage Coach. Photo source VANESSA PIKE-RUSSELL
We loved viewing the Gold Stage Coach. It was very flashy and looked very heavy. The tour guide was lovely.
The huge (7m long and 3m tall) gilded Gold State Coach is the grandest coach at the Royal Mews. Commissioned by George III in 1762, it has been used at every coronation since that of George IV in 1821. Weighing almost 4 tonnes, the coach needs 8 horses to draw it and never moves faster than walking speed. The three cherubs on the roof represent the genii, or guardian spirits, of England, Scotland and Ireland. They support models of the Royal Crown and hold the Sceptre, the Sword of State, and the Ensign of Knighthood in their hands.
Source: Royal Collection Trust
In the State Stables, Philip dressed up as a footman in specially-created livery worn by The Queen’s coachmen.
Apart from a few small details, the livery remains much the same as it was in Victorian times, and some of the tailors who produce today’s livery are the same companies used during the reign of George III.”
Source: Royal Collection Trust
Philip Russell in the Semi State Landau carriage. Photo source: VANESSA PIKE-RUSSELL
Information from the Royal Collection Trust:
Imagine stepping into a royal carriage, sitting down and practicing your regal waving just as Queen Victoria did in 1897. In the Royal Mews State Stable you can experience this with our replica Semi-State Landau.
The Semi State Landau was popular with Queen Victoria, who frequently used them on ceremonial occasions, including for the Diamond Jubilee Thanksgiving Service at St Paul’s Cathedral on 22 June 1897. The reproduction landau is decorated in a royal carriage livery and is a perfect photo opportunity.
THE ROYAL MEWS STORE
After the guided tour of the Royal Mews we enjoyed the Royal Mews shop which was next door. I was in tourist heaven!
Photo source: VANESSA PIKE-RUSSELL
After a marathon shopping experience, we hopped on another Golden Tours bus and headed to Bankside Pier stop, home of Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre. I was so excited I forgot to take photos. We hopped off at our destination and made our way to the theatre. On our way walk we realised we were hungry and thirsty and headed into The Real Greek, a lively Greek Restaurant.
THE REAL GREEK RESTAURANT, BANKSIDE
Photo source: Tripadvisor – The Real Greek – Bankside
We ordered Greek flatbread, Tzatziki and a couple of pints. Also ordered was a grilled chicken and salad plus a salt cod. Delicious!
I really liked the atmosphere at the Bankside Pier. I would love to go back and explore.
Bankside Pier, London. Photo source: Henrik Stovring – Dreamtime
SHAKESPEARE’S GLOBE THEATRE
After lunch, we walked the short distance to The shakespeare’s Globe theatre. We arrived just before 2pm and lucky for us there was a 2pm performance of Much Ado About Nothing which we managed to buy some returned tickets after waiting in the returns line. We purchased two unobstructed tickets and took our seats. Fortunately we were near the stairs and had a great view.
Photo source: Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre by Oli Scarff
Much Ado About Nothing had a Mexican twist to it which was very interesting. Being there in the audience was amazing!!!
Photo source: Tristram Kenton from New York Times – A Mexican-Style ‘Much Ado About Nothing’
Photo source: Globe Theatre – The Shakespeare Diaries (Much Ado About Nothing)
Admittedly I was very tired and nodded off for a few minutes. At intermission I purchased some coffee and some nibbles and perked up. I loved that it was open air and the architecture of the theatre meant that I could hear all the actors very clearly. It was electrifying being there.
THE LION KING
Afterwards we hopped back on the Golden Tours Hop on Hop off bus and travelled around London and then headed to the Lyceum Theatre to attend a performance of The Lion King. Arriving a few minutes late due to a taxi not arriving in a timely fashion, it was an amazing production that was very thrilling. I bought a Lion King toy and book.