June 27, 2016

Our UK Family Holiday - Part 4 - Buckingham Palace and London Eye


I'm on a hiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiigh!!! Game of Thrones is the best show in the history of television!!! The finale was all kinds of awesomeness!!! I'm going to be smiling for the next week... until I remember we have to wait until April for season 7 :(

Anyways, I'm continuing with the Brexit UK holiday snaps and history lessons today. On this particular day, I went to visit my Aunty Lili... her and my grandfather go waaaaay back... before she became the Queen of England. You know I have famous family members and friends, right? But just so I don't get kidnapped, I always keep a low profile. It's only you, my faithful readers, that really know what's up.

So we went to Buckingham Palace. Did you know it was opened in 1703, and has been the official London residence of the reigning monarchy since 1837? On our way there, we saw this sculpture that I just had to get a photo of.

Buckingham Palace has 775 rooms - one of the 52 Royal and guest bedrooms is reserved for my family... because Aunty Lili thought it was a fitting christening present for me.

Buckingham Palace is surrounded by grand statues, just like the rest of London. This South Africa one below is part of the Dominion Gates - there's also a West Africa one, Australia one, and Canadian Gates too.

Have you ever seen the movie, The Young Victoria? I absolutely love that film which stars Emily Blunt and Rupert Friend. Anyways, Queen Victoria was the first sovereign to live in Buckingham Palace. Remember I mentioned in my post about Marble Arch, that it was originally stationed at Buckingham Palace, and had to be moved? Queen Victoria and Prince Albert are responsible for that decision.

Speaking of Queen Victoria, the Victoria Memorial sits in front of the palace, is made of marble and gilt bronze and weighs 2300 tonnes!

Buckingham Palace's state rooms have been open to the public during select months since 1993 - roughly between 450,000 and 500,000 get to go inside the palace annually. The whole palace itself is one of the major tourist attractions in the world, seeing up to 15 million tourists a year!

Check out the grand gates! I wonder how much one gate costs. Probably enough to pay someone's school fees.

Crazy fact: the palace was hit by bombs 9 times during World War 2!

Oh yeah, Cake didn't come with us on this day - he'd gone to visit his brother and a childhood friend. And to see Manchester United's stadium.

It was quite cold that day, and drizzled almost the whole day!

One of the biggest attractions at Buckingham Palace is the Changing of the Guards, which happens everyday at 11:30am. The Old Guard is replaced by the New Guard and it's grand process - that we missed, because we didn't plan ahead (remember to check my Travel Tips for Large Groups). If you're interested in going though, be sure to get there before 10:30am for a good spot to watch from. Here's a video of the process below.

Even though we didn't get to see the changing of the guards, I was able to take some shots of one of the guards and make a gif image :D

Meanwhile, funny story. While we were there, we noticed some policemen inside the palace grounds walking hurriedly towards another part of the gate near us. I looked over and a guy had apparently fainted. A guy. With a backpack. Everyone was trying to go and see what happened. I was on a security alert wondering what was inside his backpack... I was really ready to fly just in case something exploded :p

As we left, we saw this memorial of Princess Diana. Still makes me sad that she died :(

Later on that day, we headed back to Charing Cross to hang out with extended family, and to get on the London Eye.

My sister and I had never been on The Eye. I've been on a similar attraction in Atlanta though. It was opened in 2000 and is the world's fourth tallest Ferris wheel. It's the most popular paid tourist attraction in London, with over 3.75 million visitors a year. It takes about 30 minutes for one revolution.

The London Eye is right by River Thames (longest river in England), and on the other side of it is Big Ben. It sits at one end of the Palace of Westminster. It's one of my favorite British landmarks, but we didn't get to go up close this time. Only British citizens are allowed to tour inside, via their Member of Parliament.

We went on the London Eye mostly out of curiosity. It was pretty late when we were able to get on, and it had been such a long day that we mostly just sat and looked around. 

And with that, we called it a day! Thanks for keeping up with the UK Holiday series. Up next will be my outings with friends (look out for two of my fave bloggers), and if time permits, we'll venture into the Scotland segment of our journey!

Have a wonderful week everyone!!!

P.S. Blurry herck, my Snap Story video is too large to post here too. I think I'll just add bits and pieces to my complete UK vlog.

P.P.S. Follow me on Instagram | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Bloglovin and Snapchat @BerryDakara. 

P.P.P.S. Definitely follow me on Snapchat this week, especially with all the July 4th festivities, and a random day road trip I'm going on tomorrow. 


  1. Wow wow! So much passion and energy. You definitely made me feel like I was in London and you'd make an excellent tour guide tbh! So history can be this interesting.

    Beautifully June

    1. History is VERY interesting when you think about it. I think the way it's presented in schools takes the fun out of it unfortunately.


  2. Are you serious about your Aunty's connection to the palace? That's interesting.
    Those guards often look to me like one person that has been multiplied. Lovely pictures, Berry!


  3. I was just going to say you'll make an excellent tour guide Berry!! I still havn't been to Buckingham palace. Lol... Now I Should do that some day.

    The Social Media Mrs: Taking your husbands Last name only on Facebook

    1. Kachee have you gone anywhere? The minute you have to leave England is when you'll remember you need to actually see London. Please do one of the State room tours so you can tell us what it looks like inside :)

  4. so amazing... now you are making me miss london. lovely to see you all are having fun.... you go girl!!!

  5. Your photography is getting so good! I really think that you should pursue that and i know it sounds crazy but i think you would be a fantastic travel writer/vlogger for a magazine...

    1. Awwww, thank you so much! Your comment really warms my heart. Maybe I should look towards something like your suggestion in my job search.

  6. Hiya!

    This was so interesting.

    Gosh, I wonder how they managed to relocate the Marble Arch though! The statues at the tourist sites are so wonderfully grand.

    Really? Only Brits are allowed to tour the Big Ben, I had no idea. Diana's death still makes me sad too.

    Honestly, Berry you should apply to a travel magazine or blog, as a contributing writer. This series is by far the best I've ever read about a travel holiday, and I'm not just saying that because I want to say something pleasant to you, I am saying the truth. I really mean it.

    Your writing voice is both engaging and interesting.

    1. Hey girl!

      Thanks a lot. I found a new respect for engineers when wondering about how they moved Marble Arch.

      Yes, only the Brits are allowed to tour Big Ben and I think it's very unfair! I wanna see the clock and bell too.

      Nedoux, thank you so much for your very very very kind words. I'm glad you think so. I really enjoy travel and discovering places, and sharing with you guys. I think I may take up your suggestion.


  7. I love how detailed this is, I certainly learnt a lot. Hope to visit myself someday. And I hope my comment posts this time LOL

    1. Thank you. Ooops, I didn't know you posted before. Darn Blogger!


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