London’s Living Wall…

We went to the palace again today and next week I am sure we will be invited to dinner!

The Queen is currently spending the summer in Balmoral, Aberdeenshire; while she is away her horses are also taking a deserved break to frolic at their little summer getaway, Hampton Court.

We were Mews-bound to see the royal carriages and on our way I saw a building that astounded me with its refreshing walls.


On closer inspection I found them to be covered in rectangular planters full of flowers, the effect was Babylonian.

The Rubens at The Palace Hotel spearheaded this 3770 square foot  vertical garden on the side of its building in an attempt to create a little ecosystem with flowers blooming year round.  The project will improve the air quality and improve the aesthetics of the busy area claims the hotel’s website and for me it did indeed surprise me with its beautiful green walls rising gracefully skywards!

Then we were off to the Royal Mews.  The word mews refers to a cage for hawks especially when molting, and of course through our history falconry has been a royal sport but the birds have had to make room for the horses and carriages.


The original Mews were transported from Charing Cross to Buckingham House under the direction of George III in 1764.  The Mews is not a museum, it is a working establishment, with horses and staff in training and many regular duties being performed daily.  It is also a living community and the staff and their families live on the site.

This was the star of the show!


Completely covered in gold leaf the Gold State Coach was last seen in the streets for the Queen’s Golden Jubilee celebrations in 2002.  It is 24 feet long, 12 feet high and weighs in at 4 tonnes.  Drawn by eight horses, each pair postillion-ridden, it moves at a sedate walking pace.

We strolled outside after marvelling at the pomp and circumstance surrounding our monarchy today, utterly steeped in history and very good for the tourist industry!

A quick swing by the front of the place was in order,


and a brief aside here.  The royal employee who put out the easel proclaiming the birth of the youngest royal, had to leave the country this week because his visa ran out!  How did he get such a royal job as a visitor?

A stroll down the mall afforded this shot of a sentry complete with automatic weapon and bayonette!


Then off to lunch at the Embankment park where the picnickers were obeying the Keep of the Grass signs to my amusement!


only sprawling where they were allowed,


As for me, I sat under a tree in the shade, with hubs, to enjoy my sushi…again!


I wonder what’s for dinner at the Palace next week?


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