London, England

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The Queen's Residences

Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle, Sandringham House, Palace of Holyroodhouse, Balmoral Castle, and St. James Palace are all residences of the Queen.
I had the pleasure of visiting two of the Queen’s residences, Windsor Castle and Buckingham Palace.    Buckingham Palace is the Queen’s London residence, while Windsor is her preferred weekend residence.  Windsor is the older of the two structures.  The first phase of Windsor was built by William the Conqueror and was meant to be a fortification.  King Henry I was the first king to live there fulltime and each successive king (or queen) has spent a large amount of time at the castle.    Take a look at my Glogster for pictures, video, and a podcast about this amazing royal property.

When the queen is in residence, her standard (her flag) is flown over head.  When she is not present, the Union Jack is flown.
Since the royal family visits Scotland every year for August and September, the union jack was flying during our visit to Buckingham Palace.   (It was flying during my visit to Windsor as well, because the Queen was in attendance at a wedding in Scotland.)

Buckingham Palace is a luxurious, but purposeful estate.  The state rooms are sumptuous, yet still practical.  Housed in those rooms are many collections, such as works of art and china.  However, each room still has a purpose, is used, and contains the furniture necessary for use.  Needless to say, I was impressed with both the decor and the usefulness of the each room. 

Interestingly, comparing Windsor with Buckingham Palace, I could feel that Buckingham Palace largely reflects Queen Victoria's tastes, while Windsor felt more like King Henry VIII. 

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