Regardless of what part of the world you’re from, it’s fairly safe to assume that you know what Buckingham Palace is. It’s also highly likely that if you ever find or have found yourself in London, you made sure going to see the glorified Palace was ticked off your tourist to-see list. Only problem? The probable confusion and disappointment you felt after initially laying eyes on this so called Palace as you asked, to no one in particular, “this isn’t actually Buckingham Palace, is it?”
Countless times, prior to arriving in London, I had seen on TV Prince William and Kate (among others in the royal family) standing on the front balcony of Buckingham Palace, waving and smiling to the hoards of visitors crowding around the gates, eager to get a glimpse of the pair. That scenario wasn’t exactly one I had wanted to experience myself, but I did want to visit the Palace to see what it was really like up close.
Now, I don’t know if it is the angles of the cameras that they used when filming Buckingham Palace or some other form of technological trickery, but let me tell you right here, right now – the Palace is not that special or beautiful or exciting. Yup, I said it. I was not impressed.
Maybe it’s the idea of Buckingham Palace that most people build up in their minds; this place of apparent exquisite traditional charm that houses the royal family. I mean, how could it not blow you away?
Regardless of what it was that had me thinking Buckingham Palace would be similar to a palace from a Disney movie (unrealistic, I know), it’s really nothing more than a massive old building. Probably quite similar to many other large buildings you’ve seen throughout your travels.
Perhaps I’ll need a tour of the Palace to see if the inside is just as plain as the outside, as we all know how looks can often be deceiving.
Since the palace wasn’t all it was cracked up to be (never mind that the Changing of the Guard doesn’t happen on Sundays in the summer, which was beyond disappointing) we decided to walk down The Mall to Stable Yard Road where there were two guards marching obediently back and forth.
After watching these two guards repeat the same robotic, monotonous motions for about ten minutes, I questioned how one could keep their sanity when doing something like this for an entire working day, and what the purpose of their marching and solemnly standing still actually was, save for tourist appeal.
I think I might need to lower my expectations when travelling from now on..