The Queen opened her Gallery and Mews to the public this weekend, and we decided it was time for a visit. The Mews is still a working stables, and the tour visited the horses and coaches, which are still used for state occasions. In fact there seems to be a carriage for any occasion. We saw the coaches traditionally used to take Royal brides on their wedding day, the Queen to the state opening of parliament, to be used for the Trouping the Colour, the one used for transporting the crown jewels, and most impressive of all the 4 tonne golden State Coach. It is truly opulent, and was last used in 2002, when we with half of London lined the Mall for the Queen's Jubilee.
The Queen's Gallery is a purpose built art gallery, and this year the exhibition was of the art works of Victoria and Albert. With the help of a very informative audio guide, we found the exhibition really fascinating. We were reminded of the many tourists we have helped to record their holidays, by taking photos for them in front of xyz-must-visit-tourist-spot. Victoria and Albert seemed to enjoy putting a portrait (or model) of themselves, their children or pets on many works of art and pieces of furniture. Working with a relatively small annual budget of £2000, Victoria enjoyed adding to her collection, and it is now an interesting history of their tastes. Unfortunately no photos were permitted.