After Scotland, Fiona traveled south to London, the capital of England. Both Scotland and England are part of the United Kingdom, or UK for short, and the UK is ruled (kind of) by a real queen! Who lives in London! Fiona was excited to visit Queen Elizabeth’s residence, Buckingham Palace, and see the guards who stand watch outside wearing tall, fuzzy, somewhat silly black hats, and who aren’t allowed to smile or laugh while they’re on duty.
Unfortunately, we arrived in London just after the Platinum Jubilee, a celebration of Queen Elizabeth’s 70th anniversary as queen. The event was huge and there were crews still breaking down the festivities when we went to see the palace, which meant that we couldn’t get close enough to see the guards (or the queen).
Fiona was disappointed, but fortunately, there was a lot of other fun stuff to do in London. Here were her favorite things:
The Natural History Museum
The Natural History Museum had SO MANY fun exhibits to explore, from volcanoes and earthquakes to dinos and birds to super-sparkly gemstones. Here’s what we saw, in Fiona’s words:
“We went to the Natural History Museum. We saw fossils! And a robot T-Rex that went, like, RAWR! That was my favorite. I also liked the Diplodocus. We saw huge birds and I saw a huge bird about as big as me [with] wings about the same length as the dress I’m wearing right now but even bigger. We saw gemstones! They were really sparkly. We went into a [model of a] grocery store. That was about an earthquake. There was a little screen and the little ground would shake and on the screen it would show us real live people trembling and trembling and things crashing. We also learned about volcanoes. We took a train [to the museum] called the tube.”
Fiona also got to go to a fancy meal called a tea, which is an English tradition where people drink tea and eat sandwiches, scones and cakes in the afternoon. We went to tea with some English friends named Grant and Ellen and their daughter Violet, who is three. Fiona and Violet decided to drink milkshakes instead of tea, but Ellen still taught Fiona how to hold a teacup the fancy way, with her pinky finger pointed out.
Frozen the Musical
We also went to the West End to see a live performance of Frozen at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane:
“Frozen [was] super cool and the setup was AWESOME. There were actual people and I know it sounds crazy, but there were kids playing on the stage! Two of them were playing little-kid Anna and little-kid Elsa and then one of them was playing a kid troll. They had really cool setups [sets]—there was, like, candles that they put in their rooms every now and there was also the castle [that] had little experiences in the rooms. There were beds that went in and out. Then there were curtains and things that went down and up. Anyways, it was really cool, I really liked the setups, the stage was cool, we had the perfect seats. It was a bit different [from the movie], but actually it had quite a few more songs. I liked the new songs. And I got to eat mint chocolate chip ice cream [at intermission]!”