Buckingham Palace With Kids
Activity: Buckingham Palace. Tube Stop: Buckingham Palace. Cost: Free. Hours: Always open, changing of the guard at 11 am.
Welcome to London! We are starting your London journey at Buckingham Palace. Begin your tour at the large gold monument. That's a monument to Queen Victoria who ruled from 1837-1901, a time known as The Victorian Era. She's well-known and well-loved for many reasons. She ruled at a time when monarchies were being abolished, but she managed to preserve the British royal family by turning all government power over to Parliament.
She shifted the British Royal family into the respected celebrities we know them as today. Notice how England still has a royal family and the rest were kinda beheaded?
My favorite reason Queen Victoria is famous is that she was one of the first women to popularize "painless childbirth." She had 9 kids and it was well known that she hated pregnancy and childbirth (me too!). She heard about the use of chloroform to help ease labor and decided to give it a try with her seventh kid. She called it "that blessed Chloroform… soothing, quieting and delightful beyond measure."
All of a sudden, it became publicly accepted for women to drug themselves through childbirth and from there the epidural was invented and we all lived happily ever after. Notice her image in statues all over London and pay homage to a pioneer of painless childbirth.
Don't worry, I won't be going over every monarch, just those I find the most interesting. These people will be showing up throughout your visit to London, so best get to know them now!
Ok, the current royal family. Queen Elizabeth is the current ruling queen and she lives in the palace you're now looking at. She's the longest ruling monarch and she seems awesome. Her grandsons are William and Harry. Their mother was the late Princess Diana, who was married to Queen Elizabeth's son Charles.
Princess Diana died in a car crash in 1997. She was very popular; it's estimated that 2 million people watched her funeral. Her two boys William and Harry were 15 and 12 when she died. They grew up to be very attractive teenagers (see their portrait in the National Portrait Gallery) and then each married people who seem like fantastic women.
Will and Kate's wedding was in 2012. It was a spectacle to behold and I got to be there! See previous page for a picture of me being overly excited about the royal wedding. I got engaged the next year and designed my wedding dress after Kate's. We both get really nauseated when we are pregnant though she has it worse than I do. Then again, I don't have a team of royal nannies. Will and Kate have three kids, George, Charlotte, and Louis. They are my kid's style icons.
Harry married in 2018. He married an American actress Meghan Markle. It was a big deal that she was American, an actress, and also that she is half black. It's the first time there has been anything but white people in the royal family EVER. Pretty awesome. Their wedding was smaller, but had a lot of elements of both of their upbringings. I stayed up all night to watch it, though I didn't get to go in person. Meghan Markle is currently pregnant and due in Spring 2019 and I covet her pregnancy style.
Hang out for a bit and look at the red coated guards with the furry hats. They're called The Queen's Guard. They operate according to a strict set of rules. They can be fined for smiling, for reacting to you, and for leaving their posts before their appointed time. But if you touch them they are allowed to use their bayonets on you, so think twice before goading them. The changing of the guard happens at 11 am and it's only mildly entertaining in my opinion.
Buckingham Palace does not allow tours except certain weeks in the summer. You can however tour the Royal Mews. If you decided to tour the Royal Mews, you'll see the carriages that carried many royal brides to their weddings. It's 12 pounds to get in and it's around the back of the palace.