Their crowning GLORY
PENNY LEWIS AND FAMILY GET THE ROYAL TREATMENT IN LONDON
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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ENT £25 ,