Wandering around to the side, we found the entrance where we duly purchased our ticket and began to explore. We wandered through the various rooms, admiring the furnishings, chandeliers, and art.
In one room, we noticed a young man and woman in period costume seated at a table as they played cards. I drifted over to enquire as to what they were doing. Staying in character, they whispered that they were discussing all the gossip of the court. They then asked if I had any juicy bits I could add to their knowledge. Getting into the spirit of things, I quickly sat down, leaned forward conspiratorially, and began my story. I whispered to them that I was actually the great granddaughter of a Scottish Lord, but that unfortunately, my grandfather had been born “on the wrong side of the blanket.” Well, of course, they were very impressed and gave me a card saying that I would be admitted to the King’s Court since I had royal blood! It was all in great fun!
The special event in 2012 was a display of Queen Victoria’s private belongings. One entire section at the bottom of a spiral staircase exhibited all the things she would take whenever she left to go and stay elsewhere. It was quite a collection!
After a lovely “tea” in the restaurant, Cathy and I explored the kaleidoscopic gardens outside and passed the statue of Queen Victoria on our way to the little lake. I took lots of photos both inside and out and at the end, we both admitted it'd been a very remarkable day.
Tourists are not allowed to go down into the gardens - there are stone and brick walls around them and locked gates here and there for the gardeners. But the view is actually much better from above and it took us ages to see everything.
Finally, here's one knackered but still kooky Kanadian tourist squinting in the glare beside the myriads of brilliant daisies.