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Monday 21 September 2015

Kensington Palace

When my friend Cathy and I ended up in London in 2012, we decided to take a day and spend it at Kensington Palace and its gardens.  Early in the morning, we caught one of the underground trains to emerge onto Kensington High Street.  After a 5-minute stroll, we arrived at the entrance to the palace and were extremely impressed with the gates.  There were still flowers and photos and other homages to Princess Diana that I found a bit excessive since she’s been gone so long already.
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.


  1. so the Kanadian is smart and got to have a better view from above. Can't post to your blog, but found out I can do it here.

  2. Seems to have been a wonderful trip wich you probably will never forget too....
    I haven't been there jet but maybe someday i will ...

    Wonderful entry Leslie, i've enjoyed it!!

    Have a nice abc-week again !

    ♫ Mel☺dy ♫

  3. This is so Kool, I mean cool. But then, so are you.

  4. Beautiful castle gardens! I always love to walk to enjoy the colours and the patterns!
    Wishing you a nice abc-week!

  5. How wonderful your visit was! Love all the photos and your conversation with the period actors! Great intro to the letter K!

  6. Well I had my post all ready and just realized you also referenced the kaleidoscope, great minds think alike I guess!! Your gardens are so gorgeous--mind just a small reflection of the beautiful castle ones. Would love to see it in person.

  7. Great pictures of KP. I visited it in the sixties when Princes Margaret held court there, well before Princess Diana and Chuck !
    I can't remember the gardens being so salubrious and I was more interested in Carnaby Street and Petticoat Lane.
    So thanks for the return visit I enjoyed it especially your play acting with the Courtiers!
    Best wishes,
    ABCW team.

  8. What a great place and stoy, thanks for sharing
    Greetings from Germany

  9. There was quite a mixup. Could I ask you to delete number 4 and keep number 9 for me? Thanx so much. Berowne.

    1. Too late, Berowne! Already had fixed, and also noted as 286 instead of 268.

  10. What a great adventure. Didn't realize you can actually tour Kensington.

  11. English gardens are always beautiful! I wonder if queen Victoria's life speaks to imagination to so many, because in history there not been many queens around! And in the Netherlands with having had three generations of queens, I still (am probably not the only one) still have to get used to the idea that now we have a King - Willem Alexander (but well worthy to step in his mother's Beatrix's footsteps!)

  12. I loved your visit to the English gardens, they are so colorful, and thanks for sharing, since I will never see them except through others eye of the Camera.

  13. What a wide variety of flowers and their colors! Fantastic introduction to this week's letter.

  14. I would have never imagined Kensington Palace being so entertaining with all that gossip going on. The gardens are breathtaking. Happy ABC Wednesday, Leslie!

  15. I do love an English garden, especially the one that looks rather haphazard with tall flowers, like a butterfly garden. I imagine a few people are able to enjoy employment in those gardens, and to that I say Bravo! Amy

  16. Yes Kensington garden is really worthwhile to see ! The very first time I was there was one week after Diana's funerals. I couldn't see anything of the garden there were so many flower bouquets laying on the grass around the whole garden.

  17. Ha ha enjoyed your court gossip. The queen actually carried along a lamp??? Or is it kept there just for effect? The gardens are marvellous.

  18. Beautiful pictures! I'm hoping to visit England in the spring of this coming year.

  19. Great post, lovely photos!
    My Australian post features fauna, namely, Kangaroo, Koala and Kookaburra.

  20. Oooh, if I ever make it to London, I shall take a tour of Kensington Palace. I had no idea we could. I love the idea of sharing gossip with two card players. Thanks for sharing your view of the palace.

  21. Looks like a lovely trip Leslie. I'll probably never get there in real life. - Margy

  22. Lovely pictures.. gorgeous gardens and that gate is magnificent !!
    Cheers, Priya []