No matter that you travel economy class in the air or by horse on the ground, Princes William and Harry of Great Britain cannot easily claim a casual lifestyle for their Grandma, Queen Elizabeth.
Recently, the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani and his wife, Sheikha Mozah bint Nasser Al Missned came for a three-day visit in the UK. Qatar was a British protectorate until 1971 and Britain seeks closer ties with the kingdom in an attempt to woo new investors in the UK. Queen Elizabeth pulled out all of the entertainment stops at Windsor Castle. In the large hall that has been restored since a fire there, she served what seemed hundreds.
In 2008, the Queen opened up more of Buckingham palace to tourists and a special exhibit was devised focusing on banquets:
Buckingham Palace has been open to the public since 1993.
The ballroom is where the great state banquets are held – there have been 77 held there during the Queen’s reign and 97 in total (of the other 20, 18 were held at Windsor Castle in Berkshire and 2 at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh) – and [since 2009, the public have been] able to see the room as it is when it is laid for for such an occasion.
The popular monarch loves helping to set up the huge table’s layout – and she also helped to set up this display for the public.
This is the scene which has greeted foreign monarchs, presidents and prime ministers – the Buckingham Palace ballroom prepared for a state banquet.
Laid out are seats for 170, more than 2,000 pieces of polished silver-gilt cutlery, 1,104 glasses, 23 flower arrangements and 100 candles in candelabras.
The Palace’s ballroom has been decorated and the enormous dining table laid out with hundreds of pieces of tableware. [Daily Mail]
Behind the scenes preparations for a state banquet featuring staff walking on the table to light candles and make last minute adjustments.
An overview of the collection of flatware and etc. that are used at a banquet at Buckingham Palace where most have been held until recently when Prince Philip suggested Windsor. This was shot during an exhibition at the Palace in 2008 that was open to the public:
Finally, enjoy reading about the most decadent royal banquet ever. [Daily Mail]