When people visit Buckingham Palace, the last thing they pay attention to are the palace gates. For most people, the gates just get in the way of a great view or selfie. Look closer though, and you might begin to appreciate these ornate structures a bit more. They’re not just railings. They’re works of art.
The story goes back to 1905 when the Bromsgrove Guild of Applied Arts was commissioned to design wrought iron gates that would surround Buckingham Palace. The guild comprised artists and craftsmen still rooted in bespoke traditional design in the face of “damaging” industrialization. The intricately designed gates still surround and protect the monarch’s home today. Here we see Alan Weald hard at work painting one of the gates which was damaged after a car rammed into it.
The Queen’s Corgis
There are pet parents, and then you have the Queen – the ultimate Dog Mom. Her love for corgis and “dorgis” (dachshund-corgi mixes) was well documented. Photographs of the Queen and her corgis have delighted royal fans and pet lovers everywhere. They offer glimpses of a softer, endearing side to the monarch.
She looked after over 30 dogs in her lifetime. The dogs trooped about inside the palace and outside it, as seen in this picture. Safe to say these were some of the luckiest, spoiled-rotten corgis and dorgis on the planet with footmen watching over them! Since the Queen’s passing, her dogs have found a new loving home with Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson (the Duke and Duchess of York).
Sir Cliff Richard
Pictured here is Cliff Richard, newly knighted and leaving the palace after the ceremony. In 1995, the musician officially became a Knight Bachelor. But he received the knighthood for his incredible charity work and not his music contributions. Years later, Richards would wince while recalling the ceremony since he had apparently made a fool of himself in front of the Queen.
Of the many, many instructions for participants in the ceremony, don’t speak until spoken to was the most important one. Easy enough. But nobody prepared him for what to say when the Queen did speak with him! Richards said he could not string a coherent sentence together. He believed the Queen must’ve wondered why they knighted someone who couldn’t speak a word of English.
Princess Diana Dies
Princess Diana was different. She was beautiful and charming but also endearing in a way most royals aren't. They called her the People’s Princess, and it was a role she took very seriously. On August 31, 1997, the world froze en masse when news broke about her death in a car accident. Something irrevocably shifted in the air that day.
People left flowers, gifts, and cards outside Buckingham Palace in the thousands. And they kept coming for days after her funeral until the palace itself seemed to fade into the background. A people traditionally known for restraint wept unabashedly. In some cases, grief was punctuated by anger at the monarchy for being unkind to her.
The Queen’s Helicopter
Being a royal comes with some cool perks, like having a helicopter just for the family. Since 1998, the Royal Family has been using a Sikorsky helicopter exclusively for their royal duties — one of the first helicopters set aside just for this purpose. You can't miss the signature maroon helicopter.
The special helicopter started service on December 21, 1998. Even though the S-76 is a type of helicopter you'll find all over the world, this one is decked out and clearly conveys royalty. Using one helicopter — instead of several — has saved the family over a million pounds. Royals need to work under a budget too!