Royal Mews review
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You really have to be a fan of the Royals to like the Royal Mews. Either that or you need to love horses, because there's not a lot to see inside. I'm a bit of a Royal nut, but even I would skip this one.
All you can really see of the architecture is a quadrangle that doubles up as a staff car park. Presumably they exercise the horses in it, but every time I've been here in the past (including today) it has been jam-packed full of modern day cars, which rather ruins the view. People still live in the flats around the top, so it's where they park their buggies and bikes and vans.
After you've emptied out all your pockets and spread your arms for security, and picked up an audio guide, you walk around the stables at the side of the quadrangle. Each stable has one State coach inside, along with a big placard to show you what it's used for. They've got the State Landau used by Queen Victoria, for example, and the one that carries the Imperial Crown on parade (and yes, the crown really does get a carriage all to itself!).
Obviously you're not allowed to sit in any of them. The stables are extremely small so you can't even walk around the side them. You literally just stare through the stable door and snap a few photos of the front. It's rather disappointing really -- hence why I said you need to be a big fan of the Royals to enjoy it. Imagine how much money they could make if they tied a couple of donkeys to the front and allowed the tourists to ride around in them. They could charge 20p a go -- they'd make a fortune!
After that comes the absolute glory of glories: the famous Gold State Coach. This is the fairytale coach that carried the Queen during her Coronation in 1953. This room is a lot bigger, so you can actually have a walk around it and watch some videos on the wall. They've set it up with four waxwork horses and accompanying riders, all dressed up in their white wigs and finery. You won't believe the size of this thing when you first clap eyes on it -- it's bigger than a tank (no joke!). My photograph definitely doesn't do it justice. And surely it must weigh more than a tank as well, with all that gold on it. It looks about an inch thick, so it must be bulletproof as well. If you stick a machine gun on the front then the Queen could probably lead our army into war.
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