Their crown­ing GLORY


New Zealand Woman’s Weekly - - WEEKLY TRAVEL -

Do you like the royal fam­ily?” asked Gra­ham, our Lon­don tour guide as he ex­pertly nav­i­gated his black Lon­don taxi through the West­min­ster streets.

“I can see how they’re great for Bri­tain, but I don’t re­ally think about them too much back home in New Zealand,” I replied, sound­ing like a true colo­nial.

De­spite what I told Gra­ham, as our morn­ing tour con­tin­ued, I couldn’t hide the fact that I am rather in­ter­ested in the roy­als. Dare I say it – I am quite fond of most of them.

The po­lice close lo­cal roads for the Chang­ing of the Guard at 11am, so Gra­ham parked up and we con­tin­ued our tour on foot. It was a great way to get our bear­ings on our first day in Lon­don. I had vis­ited years ago, but my hus­band Michael and our two daugh­ters, Nina (13) and Eva (11), had never been.

“Is that the arch Kate and Wil­liam’s car­riage drove un­der on their wed­ding day?” I asked, at­tempt­ing not to sound too in­ter­ested as we looked across Horse Guards Pa­rade.

We watched the Chang­ing of the Guard out­side Buck­ing­ham Palace in a spot Gra­ham picked es­pe­cially for us so we could es­cape the hordes of large tour groups. He ex­plained how the pageantry worked, point­ing out the dif­fer­ent uni­forms and what they rep­re­sented.

“The Ir­ish Guards – doesn’t Kate present them with some­thing on St Pa­trick’s Day, and didn’t Prince Wil­liam wear an Ir­ish Guards uni­form at his wed­ding?” I asked. I couldn’t pre­tend to be non­cha­lant about the royal fam­ily any more.

We headed to West­min­ster Abbey, a build­ing I imag­ined would be so much big­ger than it was. I re­alised I felt this way be­cause of the role the abbey has played in var­i­ous royal spec­ta­cles. It’s been there for al­most a thou­sand years, af­ter all.

The last stop took us to St Paul’s Cathe­dral, a lo­ca­tion im­printed on my mem­ory from watch­ing Prince Charles and Princess Diana’s wed­ding.

The next day, our fam­ily set off on foot to see the famed Madame Tus­sauds wax mu­seum in Maryle­bone. We got a little lost walk­ing through Re­gent’s Park, but help came from a few friendly lo­cals and we de­lighted in see­ing our first ever squir­rels. We’d bought the tick­ets for the mu­seum on­line, so we were able to join the ex­press queue into this busy tourist at­trac­tion. Nina and Eva posed for self­ies with an eerily life­like Kim




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