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Date: Monday, June 23, 1958
Place: London
Weather: Warm – some showers

Got up this morning for the same old breakfast and then left at 9:15 for an all day tour of England. We had a very young bus driver who was something of a hot-rodder, and our guide, Mrs. C, was something for the books! She wore a black beret and carried this red umbrella which she stuck in the air and expected us to follow her.

First we went to Buckingham Palace and saw the changing of the guard – then to Westminster Abbey with all its tombs, and the Chapel of the Order of the Bath.

For lunch, we ate down town, and then went out to Stoke Poges and saw the country church where Gray wrote his elegy.

Next we went to Windsor Castle where it rained quite hard and then stopped. (You never go anywhere in London without a rain-coat.) After that we went to Hampton Court (beautiful gardens) and then home. Everyone wanted a picture of Mrs. C with her umbrella and I nearly died laughing at Harry who kept following along behind her ’cause he wanted one from the rear!

We rushed home and Betsy, Jean, Timmy, and I got dressed to go to see Duel of Angels, a play starring Vivian Leigh and Claire Bloom. We ate dinner in a nice place after that, had huge musical fountains with colored lights.

Duel of Angels opened in April 1958 at London’s Apollo Theatre. Starring Vivien Leigh as Paola and Claire Bloom as Lucile, it was an English-language adaptation of Pour Lucrece by Jean Giraudoux. The women’s costumes were designed by none other than Christian Dior, and the Victoria & Albert Museum in London has one of Ms. Leigh’s costumes in its collection.

Changing the Guard (also known as Guard Mounting) at Buckingham Palace has been carried out since 1660. It is during this ceremony that one regiment takes over for another and The New Guard becomes The Queen’s Guard.

The ceremony is accompanied by a Guards band, playing music ranging from traditional marches to contemporary songs.

An official app from the Royal Collection was created to enhance the experience of watching the ceremony. Highlights include behind-the-scenes videos and a Kids Zone. The app is available for download from iTunes.

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