Seven Queens have ruled in their own right. Or eight if you include Mathilda. Or maybe six if you don’t count Mathilda or Lady Jane Grey. And then there are the Queen Consorts and dare I say the very, very many Royal Mistresses of England? Oh my! What tales to tell! The day includes a visit to Clarence House, for fifty years the home of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother and now home to Charles and Camilla.
Meet our Blue Badge Guide at St Paul’s Cathedral at 10.30am to purchase morning refreshments. We hear the sad tale of Brandy Nan and head off by coach to find both Bloody Mary and Good Queen Bess on Fleet Street, a warrior queen on Westminster Bridge and a She-Wolf haunting a ruined church in the City.
Royal mistresses have always walked the tightrope between glamour, luxury and ruin. Sometimes multiple mistresses bumped along quite happily together like George I’s Elephant & Castle but at other times there was fierce rivalry – Nell Gwynn once laced a rivals food with laxatives! Some retired with fabulous wealth but others met with a grisly end.
After free time for lunch on London’s South Bank we visit Clarence House. Visitors are guided around the five ground-floor rooms where The Prince and The Duchess of Cornwall undertake official engagements and receive guests from around the world. There are outstanding 20th century paintings including works by John Piper, Graham Sutherland and Augustus John. Superb examples of Fabergé, English porcelain and silver which particularly relate to the Bowes-Lyon family are also on display.
We set down just a short hop from the house entrance and as admittance is by timed ticket (18 people every 15 minutes) our guide will look after your folk both before and after their Clarence House visit. Option to head home at 4.45pm or transfer by coach for a comfort stop and optional cuppa before heading home by 5.30pm.
You will pay for your tickets just two weeks before you go.