London Part 1 - Palaces
I've always felt drawn to England. It's natural beauty, incredible architecture spanning centuries and it's fascinating history all enchant me. I just returned from the most magical trip, exploring Royal Palaces, the great parks and the many magnificent museums, and already I can't wait to go back.
One of the highlights was my private tour of Windsor which included the state apartments which not typically accessible. They featured silk damask wall coverings, Chippendale furniture, Meissen china and priceless works of art from the likes of Rubens, Van Dyke and Holbein from the royal collection. I was not supposed to take photos but I had to sneak one of the amazing green drawing room - my favorite room at Windsor Castle.
Windsor is quite remarkable because it is the oldest inhabited castle in Europe dating back almost 1000 years to the time of William the Conquerer, and parts of it's original structure still remains today as well as additions throughout the years from famous monarchs including Edward III, Henry VIII, Charles II and George IV.
View of the Augusta Tower, where Edward VIII delivered his abdication speech.
View from the Long Walk.
Kensington is a very different sort of royal residence. It's is smaller, more intimate palace where many rooms and surrounding gardens are dedicated to it's most famous royal resident, Queen Victoria who grew up there. Many of her handwritten letters, souvenirs and pieces from her wardrobe are on display, as well items from the wardrobe of Prince Albert.
Van Dyke's portrait of Charles I in the King's Gallery.
And of course, Buckingham Palace. I was not able to arrange a proper tour, but hope to one my next visit.