I fancy royalties. When I went to the UK few months ago, getting inside Buckingham Palace, Clarence House, the Royal Mews, The Queen’s Gallery, Windsor Castle, Frogmore House, and the Palace of Holyroodhouse are part of my bucket list. Unfortunately, I only got into the Royal Mews and The Queen’s Gallery because of my lazy demeanour during my holidays. I discovered taking pictures are not allowed so I had to request some pics to post from the Royal Collection Trust, an agency which manages the edifices I have recently mentioned. (Note: Prohibition of taking pictures is very much understandable as people may get disinterested to pay entrance fees if they already know what to expect. Entrance fee funds can be used for the rigorous maintenance of such marvellous collections)
Here are the 6 Pictures I must share on my visit to The Royal Mews and The Queen’s Gallery.
A. Royal Mews
The Royal Mews is responsible for all the road arrangements for The Queen and members of the Royal Family. It stores the Royal Coaches, Horses, Royal Mews’ Staffs Uniforms, and other items such as President Obama’s gift during their state visit- the original horseshoes worn by recently retired champion carriage horse Jamaica.
1.) The Gold State Coach
The Golden State Coach is tagged as one of the most magnificent royal coaches in the world. It was commissioned by King George III in 1760. The Gold State Coach was last used on June 4, 2002 to convey The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh to a Service of Thanksgiving at St. Paul’s Cathedral, as part of the Golden Jubilee celebrations. It is still in working condition up to now.
2.) The Glass Coach
This coach carried Lady Elizabeth Bowes Lyon, later Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother, to Westminster Abbey for her wedding to the Duke of York (later King George VI) on April 26, 1923. Twenty four years later, this same coach carried their daughter, the future Queen Elizabeth II, to her wedding. It was originally acquired for the 1911 coronation of King George V. Its name comes from the use of glass in all the top panels except for the back. The coach has been used for several royal weddings, usually to convey the bride to the ceremony.
Other coaches. Semi-State Landau. The landdau was particularly favored by Queen Victoria who enjoyed fresh air, and noted in her journal of travelling in an open landau from London’s Victoria Station to Buckingham Palace. Queen Alexandra’s State Coach. Built in 1865, the coach was converted into a glass coach in 1893 for the Princess of Wales, later Queen Alexandra, consort of King Edward VII. She used it for social events until her death in 1925. Since 1962, the coach has carried the Imperial State Crown, the Sword of State and Cap of Maintenance in its own procession, which travels before The Queen’s carriage during the State Opening of Parliament. King Edward VII Town Coach. The coach was ordered by King Edward VII from the London-based coachbuilders Hoper&Co. as an addition to a fleet of 17 similar coaches. It was used for distinguished visitors, rather than royal travellers, and therefore were painted in more sombre colours. It is now the only surviving coach from the group and was restored in 1963. The Scottish State Coach. The Scottish State Coach was originally built c.1830 and was acquired by Queen Mary in 1930. In 1968 the coach was converted into the Scottish State Coach. The royal arms of Scotland and the Order of the Thistle Insignia were added to the coach panels. The Queen travelled in the coach whilst in Edinburgh to attend the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland in 1969 and 2002.
3.) Well bred horses
There are 2 types of horses used to pull carriages at the Mews: Windsor Greys and Cleveland Bays. The Windsor Greys draw the carriages in which The Queen, members of the Royal Family, and guests travel. They’re so called because they used to be kept at Windsor in Victorian times. The Cleveland Bays are used to pick up high commissioners and ambassadors presenting their credentials to The Queen.
B. The Queens Gallery
The Queens Gallery stores artworks and other item collections of the Queen. From time to time, they exhibit these items in The Queen’s Gallery. During my visit, The Queen’s Collections related to Leonardo Da Vinci are on exhibit.
4.) The Leoni binding (c.1590. Leather, gold tooling)
At his death, Leonardo left his drawings to his pupil Francesco Melzi. On Melzi’s death around 1570, the sculptor Pompeo Leoni acquired the drawings, and mounted them on the pages of at least two albums. By 1630, one of those albums had reached England, and was in the collection of Earl of Arundel. Around 1670 the album was acquired by King Charles II, perhaps as a gift from Arundel’s grandson. In the years around 1900 the drawings were removed from the album, and many were stamped with the cipher of Edward VII. Leoni’s empty album binding was fortunately preserved– the repository for three centuries of what we know today about Leonardo.
5. ) The Gastrointestinal tract, and the stomach, liver and spleen (c.1508. Black chalk, pen and ink)
Below, Leonardo depicts the gastrointestinal tract. Attached to the cecum, at the lower right (proper) of the intestines, is the appendix, seen again in detail below right- the first known description of this structure. Below, the liver is shown in cross-section, with the stomach and spleen.
6.) A Portrait of Leonardo by Francesco Melzi (c.1515-18, red chalk)
Leonardo’s early biographers testify to his personal beauty, well-kept hair and beard and a love of fine clothes, and to his charming gregarious character. This is the only reliable portrait of Leonardo to survive. It was probably drawn by his pupil and heir Francesco Melzi, who preserved the portrait as a memento of his master.