Houses of Parliament is just one of the many field trips on the British Life and Cultures class that students studying with the Southern Californian Foothills Consortium take while studying in London. Alexia Costa, Student Ambassador and Student Blogger, studying with SCFC this Fall is working on a London attractions project. In previous weeks, Alexia has discussed The British Monarchy and British History with trips to Buckingham Palace, Afternoon Tea at the British Museum, the National Portrait Gallery, The British Library and a tour of the Freemasons Hall.
This week, Alexia shares her experiences visiting the Houses of Parliament. Read on to see how she found it:
Houses of Parliament
The Houses of Parliament was just amazing! At first I was a little skeptical if I was going to like it since I thought it was going to be mainly about political things, which I don’t know much about it. However, it proved to be a very interesting experience.
Full of History
The Houses of Parliament dates back to before monarchs such as Henry VIII and all his six wives, Queen Mary, Queen Elizabeth and many others. It was built for William the Conqueror. Unfortunately, the palace architecture was severely damaged due to a fire many years after but later fixed. Let me tell you, this place was really fascinating! I loved the variety of styles that they decided to incorporate into the structure of the palace as well as the use of color, the designs and paintings on the walls.
Houses of Commons and House of Lords
I saw the House of Commons and House of Lords. The Queen herself is only allowed to enter the House of Commons once a year! Royalty have been “banned” from the House of Commons since 1642 when Charles I stormed into the Commons demanding the arrest of five MP’s which the speaker stood up to him and refused. Since this event, now once a year when the Queen wants to address the House of Common’s, the Queen’s messenger a gentleman usher of the black rod has to summon the commons to notify the royal presence in the House of Lords. They slam the door of the chamber in the black rod’s face where he then has to tap on it three times with his ebony stick and is allowed to deliver the royal summons!
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.