The Mary Rose – new museum reveals it’s magnificence

The Mary Rose – new museum reveals it’s magnificence

King Henry VIII’s warship, the Mary Rose, sank in the Solent on the south coast of England during an engagement with the French Fleet in July 1545.   The disaster was witnessed by many, including the King.   It was 450 years before she was seen again - after the world’s largest underwater archaeological excavation brought her [...]

How to watch Changing the Guard in London

How to watch Changing the Guard in London

Every day of the week in London, there are two guard changing ceremonies that display the splendour of Britain’s constitutional monarchy against a backdrop of historic royal palaces. One guard changing is located at ‘Horse Guards’, off Whitehall, and the other takes place outside Buckingham Palace.  Both ceremonies happen at 11am, except on Sunday when [...]

This is where the world’s first national postal service started!

This is where the world’s first national postal service started!

This post will describe a group of buildings near Cheapside in the City of London.  Here you can visit some ancient parts of London - and see where the world's first national postal service started!   (The photograph above is Christ Church Greyfriars and the King Edward Building to the right). The Royal Mail has been in [...]

48 hours in ‘The Athens of the North’

48 hours in ‘The Athens of the North’

Earlier this year, we set off to 'The Athens of the North' to visit some of my old haunts, see the key sights once again - and watch a rather important rugby match. In the early 1800's Edinburgh re-branded itself 'The Athens of the North' to reflect its growing importance.  It has been the capital [...]

Kensington Palace – a history of Prince Harry and Meghan’s home

Kensington Palace – a history of Prince Harry and Meghan’s home

We're not going to let the major Royal event of 2018 go without a mention!  Referring of course to the marriage of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle on the 19 May at St Georges Chapel, Windsor Castle.  Once married, the couple will live together in the second largest apartment of Kensington Palace - moving out [...]

How New Haven upset the Merry Monarch!

How New Haven upset the Merry Monarch!

The Restoration man!  This is a portrait of King Charles II attributed to Thomas Hawker.  It is an oil on canvas, painted circa 1680 that you can see in the National Portrait Gallery, London.  You wouldn’t think he was called the Merry Monarch from this portrait!  It was painted near the end of his life [...]

The first Queen of America!

The first Queen of America!

Here is a glittering portrait of Queen Elizabeth I, the daughter of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn - that you can see at the National Portrait Gallery. Elizabeth I lived from 1533-1603 and reigned from 1558-1603.  This portrait was by an unknown English artist in c.1600 and is known as 'The Coronation portrait' - because [...]

Highlights from the British Galleries, V&A Museum

Highlights from the British Galleries, V&A Museum

The Victoria and Albert (V&A) Museum in London is a triumph of Royal patronage, government foresight and public sponsorship spanning back to it’s inception after the Great Exhibition of 1851.  We recommend the V&A (over many others) for its scale, privacy (in many galleries), cool (kid friendly) restaurants - and the exhibits! The Great Exhibition [...]

Where 007 started out

Where 007 started out

This is one of a collection of buildings in Whitehall that was the centre of British naval power from the mid-1700's to the 1960's.   It is officially called the Admiralty Extension, and is on Horse Guards.  Completed in 1904, it was the workplace of Ian Flemming; creator of James Bond (and Chitty Chitty Bang [...]

How to visit Buckingham Palace all year!

How to visit Buckingham Palace all year!

Think you can only visit the interior of Buckingham Palace during the summer months?   Wrong...   You can visit The Queen's Gallery all year round!  It may not have the magnificence of the State Rooms, but it's actually inside the Palace and shows artworks from the Queen's vast 'Royal Collection'!  Yes, it's a privately [...]