Saturday, August 12, 2006

Buckingham Palace

Some places didn't allow indoor picture-taking, and Buckingham Palace was one. The 19 State Rooms at the Palace were, well ... stately. I loved the Georgian ambience, seeing the ballroom that Victoria built, looking at original portraits that I had only seen in books before.

Since it's the current Queen's 80th birthday this year, one exhibit was a collection of the gowns she has worn during her reign arranged by color. We do love the Queen, but, as one newspaper reviewer put it, the exhibit showcased "Fifty Years of Un-Fashion." (When we were in London three years ago, we saw an exhibit at Kensington Palace of some of Diana's gowns, which were of course the height of fashion.) I was struck by how tiny the Queen is! Looking at her gowns, I knew I could have a-l-m-o-s-t encircled her waist with my hands. I remember thinking the same thing at the Kensington exhibit, where I saw her wedding dress.

When we left Buckingham Palace, we were obliged to walk a half mile through the gardens before exiting. As you can see, the drought has turned much of the grass brown.

I love this tree - it's Tolkein-ish, isn't it?