Saturday, we got to visit the Houses of Parliament. It was really neat to see all the rooms where the Queen moves through and sits when she opens the Parliament every year. This year this event will take place on May 27th. The chair where the Queen sits is truly amazing with all of its gold color.
The Houses of Parliament are split into two: The House of Lords and the House of Commons. The House of Lords is pretty much what the name says, they are all royalty in some way that are there because of who they are. The House of Commons are more so voted in like we vote in our senate and congress. All the seats where the members of parliament sit are special. This means that no one else can sit in them except for them. At the end of the tour I was really upset this was a rule because I was so tired of walking and only wanted to sit in the comfy crimson red chairs in the Houses of Lords and green comfy chairs of the House of Commons.
It was really neat to see the Houses of Parliament and compare it to the Capital Building of ours in Lincoln, Nebraska. I wish pictures could have been allowed because all the walls, ceilings, and statues were truly amazing to the eye, although, pictures wouldn’t have done them justice.
After touring the Houses of Parliament we got to tour Westminster Abbey. Before arriving, I really didn’t know what was in store for me at Westminster Abbey. Come to find out this is where the Royal Wedding was held. The altar inside the church was so beautiful! Of course, no pictures were allowed inside so I can’t even show you how truly beautiful it was. Every hour there are a few moments of silence and prayer and there is a place where one can light candles.
Also in Westminster Abbey are the tombs of many past Kings, Queens and other famous people. There is even a place for an unknown warrior that is surrounded by red flowers. For the Royal Wedding Kate even walked around this unknown warrior’s resting place in order to walk up and down the aisle. The body of this unknown warrior soldier was brought from the battlefields of World War I and buried here in 1920. The grave commemorates all who have lost their lives in war. The tombs differ in architectural and sculptural styles. These range from French Gothic of the nave to the complexity of Henry VII’s Tudor chapel. This was really something to see.
The other thing that was neat about Westminster Abbey was the Poet’s Corner. In this space there are many famous poets’ that have been laid to rest. Among these poets are Shakespeare and Dickens. They all had great memorials.
The Coronation Chair was at the end of the tour. This chair was constructed in 1301 and it has been used at every coronation since 1308. The abbey has been the setting for all royal coronations since 1066. The last occupant of the Coronation Chair was the present monarch, Elizabeth II. She was crowned in 1953 in the first televised coronation. This year, in September, she will be the longest reigning Queen.