Buckingham Palace has opened its doors again for the now-annual summer opening, and as usual has a special this-year-only exhibition inside some of the rooms.

On display are some of the regal toys that young princes were given to play with, from little things up to a full scale country cottage, built to little-prince’s dimensions.

One of the highlights was a model tube station. Based on the George V station in Paris, it’s stuck a bit far back in the display case, but it’s undeniably a tube station, with little tiny tube map and waiting passengers.



That aside, the display is basically, some glass cabinets with the sort of things you might expect a fairly wealthy family to indulge their children with.

And that’s where the exhibition falls down for me — as it doesn’t say “royal”.

In the past, the exhibitions have been ceremonial dresses, jewels, crowns — the sort of thing that only a Royal person would own.

This year’s exhibition could probably be found in any decent sized stately home owned by a moderately wealthy family. In fact, with a few exceptions for the very large items, most of the objects on display could be found in an average middle-class home.

I certainly had one of the rocking horses as a kid, and a large model car, and some nice suits.

OK, I didn’t have a miniature caravan, or a full sized play house, but those are merely a matter of scale, not of regal blood.


When presenting the magic of the majesty of monarchy, it’s the magic that appeals — the pomp and ceremony, the jewels, the regalia — all the stuff that that is so far above us in terms of exclusivity that only a handful of people worldwide could ever own them.

A rocking horse? They are rather common, and owned by so many commoners.


Buckingham Palace is as ever unchangingly awesome to visit. But this year’s special exhibition is maybe one to miss.

The exhibition is open until the 28th Sept, entry is £19.75 — although that does get you a return visit the following year as well, so split it into just under £10 per visit.


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One comment
  1. Stuart says:

    According to the Model Railway News for August 1957, the Paris Metro model was presented to the Queen by the people of France during the Royal Visit of that year. The full set contained two stations, track, rolling stock, transformers etc and was presented into two specially made Louis Vuitton cases! A full description and photo is given in the article.

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