Changing the Guard at Buckingham Palace

Posted on 22/08/2021 By

Changing the Guard at Buckingham Palace

They’re changing the guard at Buckingham Palace.
Bobby and Bertie didn’t take Alice.
Whose Alice?

Bertie: “Wowwww. Bobby – are we going to see the Changing the Guard?”

Bobby: “Nope… Cancelled due to Covid-19.”
(See note later about Changing the Guard)

Bertie: “Ohh! Where are we going then?”

Bobby: “Buckingham Palace Garden!”

Bertie: “Wowww. Were we invited by Her Majesty?”

Bobby: “Errr, no… We bought a ticket!”

Bertie: “Can anyone buy one?”

Bobby: “They could, but they are sold out now.”

Bertie: “Can we go by train? I love trains!”

And that’s what we did.

Bertie sat on the table in a Southern train looking out the window.

I love trains.

It was wonderful being back on a train. In the last carriage. All on our own. Watching the fields slip by. Looking into people’s back gardens.

Bertie sat on the table in a Southern train looking out the window at Sutton station.

“Where’s the ground, Bobby?”
“Wrong line, Bertie. Sutton United’s station is West Sutton.”

A few people got on at Sutton, and soon we approached the big city. Battersea Power Station now a rich city of its own. The River Thames and Victoria Station. These days we try to be early. Hate rushing. An hour before the entry time, we thought we would chat to the lady steward at the entrance.

Outside the Royal Mews Shop.

Bertie: “Excuse me! Are you the Queen?”

“Queen”: “I could be!”

Bertie: “Wow. Can I have my picture taken with you?”

“Queen”: “I am afraid not. I am incognito.”

Bertie: “Queen Incognito?”

“Queen”: “No no, little bear. I am here in secret. Please don’t tell anyone.”

Bertie: “Your Majesty. I am your humble servant. I promise not to say a word!”

“Queen”: “Good. Have a lovely day in my garden. But you are an hour early and should come back nearer the time.”

Map of Buckingham Palace and surrounds taken from the A-Z.

Here’s the map. The entrance to the garden was in Buckingham Palace Road. So we walked round to the front.

Bertie sat on the base of the Victoria Statue in front of Buckingham Palace.

Wowwww. A real palace for a Queen.

Bertie sat on the gates of Buckingham Palace.

Look at the gates to a real palace for a Queen.

Close up of Bertie on the gate wondering if they are Changing the Guard.

“Are they Changing the Guard?”
“Not today and not since before the pandemic started.
But look later in the story for an update on Changing the Guard.”

The Queen Victoria Statue.

Queen Victoria.

Union Jack flying high on Buckingham Palace.

Union Jack means the Queen isn’t there. If she is, the Royal Standard is flying.

Bertie: “Time to go in Bobby. Got the tickets?”

Bobby: “Bears don’t need one.”

Bobby's Buckingham Palace entry ticket.

The “Queen” had gone, and in we went past airport security. X-Ray machines et-al.

Bertie: “I didn’t like being shoved through that X-Ray machine.”

Bobby: “You could have been a bomb.”

Bertie sat on the wooden fence of the Royal Mews Riding School. "Completed 1764".

Through the Royal Mews.

Bertie by the sign pointing to the Garden at Buckingham Palace.

Nearly there…

Bertie sat on a bench in the garden with the rear of Buckingham Palace in the background.

The sun shone and it was a lovely day in a special place. Not a garden to excite a horticulturalist, apart from the magnificent trees. And the lake. The lawn was enormous to accommodate all those garden parties. The stewards very friendly.

The shop, in a marquee, impressive. As was the cost of a cup of tea! We walked round the garden and then sat on a bench and watched the world go by. People kept asking about me. Bobby loved telling them. It felt very special to be there, in what seemed like a country estate, knowing that it was surrounded by central London.

Bertie by the menu. Tea £3.00.

“Stone me and strike a light. The dearest cup of tea in the world? Yet ice-creams were normal-ish price.”

Bertie sat on a rope fence in front of a Plane tree, which has a circular metal seat around it.

There are over 1,000 trees in the garden. The most famous being two enormous Plane trees planted by Victoria and Albert and now known after them.”

Bertie sat on the metal seat around the tree.

Close-up of Bertie sat on the metal seat around the tree.

Victoria or Albert? The tree, that is!

Lake surrounded by big trees at the back and wild flowers in the foreground.

Another view of the lake surrounded by big trees and wild flowers.

Big lake.

A tree with Buckingham Palace in the background.

More beautiful trees.

Bertie and Bobby sat on a bench.

“He has a cheek, you know. When he fancies a chat, he has me sitting there courting attention. People love me and ask him all sorts of things. When he gets bored, I get shoved in the rucksack so he can become anonymous again!”

Inside the gift shop in the marquee.

You could spend loads of money in here…

Display of Royal gifts.

Guardsman Bears.

And of course he had to buy a naff bear to put with the other naff bears in the front room. He even told them it was for his great grandson when really it’s for him!

– – – – – –

We left by the back door in the wall, and found ourselves immediately in the real world. Traffic, noise, sirens, people, hubbub. He had put me back in that horrible haversack that flattens my ears. Suddenly I was not needed. Bleedin’ cheek!

He told me we would walk down Constitution Hill towards Trafalgar Square. Until something came over him. He suddenly remembered his Mum and had to check something out. It’s best I hand over to him now.

Bobby: “Looking across Constitution Hill, I remembered my Mum. Dolly. It was I-Spy London all over again, and we were going to see the Porter’s Rest. It’s still there and this is an introduction to a story in a couple of weeks.”

Bertie sat on the Porter's Rest in Piccadilly.

The Porter’s Rest. Piccadilly.

Cutting across Green Park to the Mall. Through Admiralty Arch to Trafalgar Square and possibly the most important visit of the day. Our favourite church. St Martin-in-The-Fields. Our weekly visits to Al-Anon in Islington invariably took us home via the church. Lighting a Candle maybe. Watching a concert.

St-Martin-in-The-Fields Church.

We love St Martin-in-The-Fields. It was an emotional moment to walk in and sit there full of memories. Nearly 18 months since we last sat there. Lighting candles and walking back through St James’s Park in torrential rain to the station. It was a perfect day.

Changing the Guard at Buckingham Palace

And the news is that the Changing the Guard will resume on Monday 23 August 2021. Here are the details:

Screenshot from the website about Changing the Guard.

There are lots of videos about the Changing of the Guard and other Royal interests on the Royal website.

Dolly loved history and facts. It was she who told Bobby that the Guards had five regiments and you could tell each one by the button spacing on their tunics.

Picture of the five guards showing the different button spacing.

Table showing the differences in the uniforms.

There are lots of YouTube videos of the Changing of the Guard. Here is just one.

Bertie with new Guardsman Bear.

We need a name for Guardsman Bear. There will be a prize for the best.

Lighting a Candle for Diddley and for Peter in St-Martin-in-the-Fields

Bertie in St-Martin-in-The-Fields Church with candles lit for Diddley and Peter.

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