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Studying Abroad: Exploring the British Monarchy

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Studying Abroad in London: Exploring the British Monarchy

The British Monarchy attracts visitors from all over the world. Visitors are fascinated with the history of the British Monarchy.  Alexia Costa, Student Ambassador and Student Blogger, is studying abroad with the Southern California Foothills Consortium in London. Over the course of her time here, Alexia is working on an attractions project and will be documenting her experiences over her semester. This week to paid a visit to Buckingham Palace, the Diana Exhibition and the National Portrait Gallery. Read on to find out more:

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The past few weeks have been incredible and I have learn’t so much about the British Monarchy. First stop: Buckingham Palace!

Buckingham Palace

This week’s visit was to the famous Buckingham Palace where Queen Elizabeth the second lives the majority of the time; she has multiple places in different parts of the country and she alternates between those places depending on the season. Right now the Queen is not staying in Buckingham Palace as she is currently residing in Scotland.

Anyway, let’s get back to business! Buckingham Palace is the home of the current reigning monarch and their family. The monarchy’s headquarters is where the queen also carries out her official and ceremonial duties as Head of State and Commonwealth of the United Kingdom. As I already mentioned, the Queen is not at Buckingham Palace and therefore the public are allowed to visit one side of the palace where the Monarchy would usually receive their visitors. Let me tell you, I loved every bit of the tour of the state rooms! There were so many details and lavish decorations, exquisite furniture and one of a kind paintings dating all the way back from Queen Victoria’s reign. Personally, I really liked the painting of Queen Victoria since she is one of my favorite Monarchs in history as well as Queen Elizabeth the first.

Princess Diana

Also, being able to see Princess Diana’s personal objects like her ballet shoes and the desk she used to conduct official business was just amazing. Her sons, Prince William and Harry personally selected some of the objects on display. Usually her objects aren’t on display. However, this year is the 20th anniversary of her death and a special exhibition was created for the public to see. I definitely recommend visiting Buckingham Palace when it is open to the public. It is worth buying the ticket, especially if you are really fascinated by its history and current monarchy.

National Portrait Gallery

Next stop, the National Portrait Gallery.  I really recommend you to go and visit this gallery since they have one of kind paintings of very well known members of the British Monarchy on display. They have the last surviving piece of one of Henry VIII portrait with his son, an amazing portrait of Anne Boleyn’s, paintings from the Elizabethan era, of Elizabeth herself as the Virgin Queen, Robert Dudley and many more! Also they have the last remaining and only portrait of William Shakespeare, The Bronte Sisters and Charles Dickens. They also have statues. My personal favorite is the one of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. As I already mentioned, Queen Victoria is one of my favorite monarch’s of all time; their love story is just like a fairytale.

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Alexia Costa is a Student Ambassador and Student Blogger who is studying abroad this Fall on an AIFS Customized Faculty-Led program in London, England through the Southern California Foothills Consortium

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