Tag Archives: Buckingham Palace

The Royal Garden Party

Buckingham Palace Garden Party Invitation

This is my story of the day that I went to Buckingham Palace to visit the Queen.  I first posted it in June 2009 and since then it has become my second most visited blog with almost 21,000 visits.

I have got a different following circle now so I thought it worth posting a link to the story just in case any one is interested…

Read the Full Story…

It’s Nice to Feel Useful (10)

  

Now and again I look back over my posts to review what has been going on.  One of the things that I like to do is to take a look at the search questions that seem to bring web-surfers by the site and take a look at some of the more bizarre and unusual.

royal garden party

One of my most successful posts is about the day I attended a Buckingham Palace Garden Party and I get lots of odd Google referrals about this one.  So far this year my favourites just have to be:

  1. who uses diplomatic tent at royal garden party buck palace

I have to say that this is a really easy one to answer – it will be diplomats!  At the Garden Party there are a range of tents all arranged in an appropriate hierarchical order.  At the bottom are the common tents for people like me and you.  Then there are tents for important people like the Prime Minister and his guests and then tents for foreign diplomats and at the very top are lavish affairs for visiting royalty who just might happen to drop in!

  1. how much does it cost to hire Buckingham palace for a garden party

…and I have to say that I  am fairly certain that the Queen of England is not so short of cash that she needs to hire her back garden out for a corporate  event.

But my favourite this time is…

  1. This year’s theme for Buckingham Palace party?

A garden party is a formal affair where guests where their very best clothes. The day that I went there were gentlemen in tails and top hats, women in floral dresses and elaborate hats and it reminded me of a scene from a nineteenth century painting of a sophisticated social event.  And there were so many military uniforms that it was almost like being in an episode of Foyle’s War!

Surely I do not have to explain that  a garden party at Buckingham Palace is not a fancy dress party but then again perhaps someone should have advised Prince Harry when he thought it was amusing to attend a society party dressed as a Nazi!

Prince Harry as a Nazi

I also get a lot of referrals from questions about behaviour – here are a couple of tips about not what to do…

Rowdy Racegoers

Next I have some rather bizarre geography questions:

  1. Is Benidorm in north Europe

And the answer is no, it is in Southern Europe and hopefully my post about Benidorm helped to correct this misconception. 

Benidorm Spain

  1. Liechtenstein is it in Austria or Germany

Actually it is in neither, it is in Switzerland.  It is a boring place, hardly worth visiting but I went there once in 2008 and stayed overnight near the capital Vaduz.  I have to say that I am not surprised that anyone may not know exactly where Liechtenstein is because it is an instantly forgettable place which I once included in my list of disappointing places to visit.

Vaduz Liechtenstien Concrete

“It occurred to me that there is no reason to go to Liechtenstein except to say that you have been there.  If it were simply part of Switzerland… nobody would dream of visiting it” – Bill Bryson,  ‘Neither here Nor there’

  1. where is Europe located next to Italy

What a wonderfully stupid question.  It is like asking where is USA next to Texas? Where is Canada next to Calgary? Or where is Australia next to Melbourne?

Actually, Italy was the first European country that I ever visited when I travelled to Sorrento in 1976!

Italy Postcard

Mine is not a food blog but I am always happy to help out with culinary questions whenever I can and I like this one… should I put vinegar on the chips or not?

I include this one even though I do not find this not such a stupid question.  What you should put on your chips is a matter of personal choice and a subject that I debated quite recently when I considered the origin of frites.

chips

Staying with the food theme I am going to finish this current round up of bizarre search questions with my favourite so far this year:

What was General Franco’s favourite food?

I am sure that this is a question that only his personal chef could realistically be expected to answer with any authority but my suggestions are…

  • Skewered Republicans
  • Roasted Liberals
  • BBQ’d Communists

Some time ago I tried to visit General Franco’s tomb but the Spanish don’t like Franco any more and it was closed at the time on account of the fact that it was being demolished.

When General Franco met Führer Adolf Hitler I can only assume that either they couldn’t agree on the menu or they were both on a diet…

Franco meets Hitler

Thanks for reading and I will do another round up when I have enough material…

… Have you spotted any bizarre search questions bringing unexpected visitors to your blog posts? – Do Tell!

It’s Nice To Feel Useful (8)

Queen Elizabeth

An Invite to a Royal Garden Party…

Around about this time of year a lot of people are receiving invitations to attend a Royal Garden Party at either Buckingham Palace in London or Holyrood Palace in Edinburgh and this always leads to renewed interest in my post about the time I was lucky enough to be invited.

After  Vikings and the Krakow, Wieliczka Salt Mine  the post is my third most visited with fifteen thousand hits  Most people reading the post arrive there by way of Google with simple search questions like ‘Royal Garden Party’, ‘how to get an invite to a Royal Garden Party’, ‘Dress code at a Royal Garden Party’, etc. etc.

Some of them however really make me giggle!  This one for example: ‘Buckingham Palace Garden Party, where to get changed?’  I think it is good enough of the Queen to invite people to trample all over her back lawn without expecting her to provide changing facilities as well, can you imagine the queue of people trying to get into Her Majesty’s en-suite!  And then there is this one – “do people travel in the clothes they wear to royal garden party?”

The answer is simple, if you are staying in a hotel overnight then get changed around about midday and then get a taxi to the Palace but if you are travelling there on the day then I am afraid you will have to go in your finery and take appropriate abuse from teenagers and beggars on the Underground!

I rather liked this one recently – “how can I go to her majeztrys garden party” and I can only guess that this is from somebody from Poland where they don’t have a Royal family any more.

I also found this one amusing – “is there somewhere for guests to sit down at royal garden parties?” .  Well, there is the throne room of course but it is unlikely that any one will get that opportunity –  but of course there is somewhere to sit down, the Queen as more garden furniture than Home Depot, the Home Hardware Stores or B&Q.

What about this one – “bakingham palace London garden party invite” – presumably the enquirer thinks this is where they film the TV series – “The Great British Bake Off”!

If it Rains at a Royal Garden Party…

Just as last year I have spotted a couple of search questions relating to the weather.  The first is “what do people wear for the royal garden party when it is raining”  which is a question that if you have to ask means that you shouldn’t really be going but I will continue to try and be helpful and suggest a smart raincoat or mackintosh, a sensible hat and appropriate shoes but however bad the weather is don’t expect to be allowed inside in a North Face kagool or a sou’wester and a pair of wellington boots!

Queen Elizabeth with Umbrella

My favourite still remains: ‘If raining does Royal Garden Party move indoors?’ which has to be one of the dumbest search questions that I have ever fallen off my chair laughing at.

There are 8,000 guests at a Royal Garden Party and although the Palace is huge (77,000 square metres) I am fairly certain that the Queen wouldn’t want 8,000 damp people in muddy shoes and wet clothes wandering around over the royal carpets, pilfering the treasures and helping themselves to the gin!  I cannot get this vision out of my head of the Queen making an announcement from the back door, ‘oh do please come inside all of you, you’ll catch your death of cold out there’ or perhaps the more direct Prince PhilipDon’t stand out there getting wet you silly buggers, bloody well come inside!’

Bad weather at a Royal Garden Party isn’t unusual however and there have been washouts in 1931, 1937, 1944, 2000 and 2009.  In 1996 a bolt of lightning hit the garden and two people were burnt and injured.  And it isn’t just rain that can spoil the day because in 1958 there was a heat wave and it was so hot that several guests collapsed with heat stroke and had to be treated in hospital.  There was no such thing as sun protection cream in 1958!

Read the full story…

heavy rain at the garden party

It’s Nice To Feel Useful (6)

Queen Elizabeth

Around about this time of year a lot of people are receiving invitations to attend a Royal Garden Party at either Buckingham Palace in London or Holyrood Palace in Edinburgh*  and this always leads to renewed interest in my post about the time I was lucky enough to be invited.

The post is my third most visited with ten thousand, five hundred hits.  Most people reading the post arrive there by way of Google with simple search questions like ‘Royal Garden Party’, ‘how to get an invite to a Royal Garden Party’, ‘Dress code at a Royal Garden Party’, etc. etc.

Some of them however really make me giggle!  This one for example: ‘Buckingham Palace Garden Party, where to get changed?’  I think it is good enough of the Queen to invite people to trample all over her back lawn without expecting her to provide changing facilities as well, can you imagine the queue of people trying to get into Her Majesty’s en-suite!  The answer is simple, if you are staying in a hotel overnight then get changed around about midday and then get a taxi to the Palace but if you are travelling there on the day then I’m afraid you will have to go in your finery and take appropriate abuse from teenagers and beggars on the Underground!

This year I have spotted a couple of search questions relating to the weather.  The first is ‘rainwear for Buckingham Palace Garden Parties?’  which is a question that if you have to ask means that you shouldn’t really be going but I will continue to try and be helpful and suggest a smart raincoat or mackintosh, a sensible hat and appropriate shoes but however bad the weather is don’t expect to be allowed inside in a North Face kagool or a sou’wester and a pair of wellington boots!

My favourite for this year (so far) however is this: ‘If raining does Royal Garden Party move indoors?’ which has to be one of the dumbest search questions that I have ever fallen off my chair laughing at.

There are 8,000 guests at a Royal Garden Party and although the Palace is huge (77,000 square metres) I am fairly certain that the Queen wouldn’t want 8,000 damp people in muddy shoes and wet clothes wandering around over the royal carpets, pilfering the treasures and helping themselves to the gin!  I cannot get this vision out of my head of the Queen making an announcement from the back door, ‘oh do please come inside all of you, you’ll catch your death of cold out there’ or perhaps the more direct Prince PhillipDon’t stand out there getting wet you silly buggers, bloody well come inside!’

Bad weather at a Royal Garden Party isn’t unusual however and there have been washouts in 1931, 1937, 1944, 2000 and 2009.  In 1996 a bolt of lightning hit the garden and two people were burnt and injured.  And it isn’t just rain that can spoil the day because in 1958 there was a heat wave and it was so hot that several guests collapsed with heat stroke and had to be treated in hospital.  There was no such thing as sun protection cream in 1958!

Read the full story…

heavy rain at the garden party

* Holyrood Palace remains for now the official residence of the Queen in Scotland but I suspect if Alex Salmond gets his own way in September in the independence referendum he’ll be looking to move in there himself while the obnoxious Nicola Sturgeon will no doubt be thinking about Balmoral!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Letters

Palace Invite 3

A Letter from the Palace…

One day I returned home from work to find a very posh envelope among the usual bills and letters that had been delivered that morning.  It was very classy indeed, ivory white with a smooth velour texture and certainly of a much higher quality than I am generally used to receiving.

On the front were the words the ‘Office of the Lord Chamberlain’ and the printed franking machine mark in the top right hand corner said ‘Buckingham Palace, London’.

Now, I don’t receive mail from Buckingham Palace everyday so I was naturally intrigued.

Inside the envelope there was even more special stationery and an expensive invitation card from the Lord Chamberlain himself stating that he has been commanded by her Majesty to invite me and a guest to a Royal tea party at the Palace.

Commanded no less!

Read the full story…

Weekly Photo Challenge: Culture

Queen Elizabeth

The Royal Garden Party:

One day in May I returned home from work to find a very posh envelope amongst the bills and circulars that had been delivered that morning.  It was very classy indeed, ivory white with a smooth velour texture and certainly of a much higher quality than I am generally used to receiving.  On the front were the words the ‘Office of the Lord Chamberlain’ and the printed franking machine mark in the top right hand corner said ‘Buckingham Palace, London’

Now, I don’t receive mail from Buckingham Palace everyday so I was naturally intrigued.

Read the full story…

Afternoon Tea With Her Majesty The Queen

Palace Invite 3

One day in May I returned home from work to find a very posh envelope amongst the bills and circulars that had been delivered that morning.  It was very classy indeed, ivory white with a smooth velour texture and certainly of a much higher quality than I am generally used to receiving.  On the front were the words the ‘Office of the Lord Chamberlain’ and the printed franking machine mark in the top right hand corner said ‘Buckingham Palace, London’.  Now, I don’t receive mail from Buckingham Palace everyday so I was naturally intrigued.

Read More…