For a special birthday I and two friends embarked on a Royal Tour of our capital city. When the Queen died, I had waited in a queue for 14 hours to see her lying in State and so wanted to follow it with the Royal theme. The Tower of London was our first stop to see the Crown Jewels which King Charles and Queen Camilla wore for their Coronation. It has been some time since I last visited the Tower and I wasn’t disappointed, the jewels dazzled in a myriad of colours! We chatted to a Beef Eater then wandered through the moat which was brimming with wildflowers including the distinctive red poppies. I had just visited North Yorkshire a few weeks before to paint the wildflowers, so it was lovely to see them again here in the middle of the city. Fortnum and Masons for a light dinner – I used to work here as a student in the clothing stationery and baby wear departments in the 1980s, so it brought back fond memories. Moulin Rouge at the Piccadilly Theatre next. An amazing spectacle. I loved the film so to see it on stage performed by outstanding actors and actresses performed with just the same breath-taking energy was incredible. Everything about it deserved 10 out of 10 including the costumes and sets and dancing. The next day a trip to Kensington Palace to see the ‘Crown to Couture’ exhibition at Kensington Palace. I have always loved fashion, having spent my early career in retail working for Burberrys and Liberty’s. The exhibition takes place in the court rooms which Charles 1st had built created complete with frescoes and paintings from that period. The rooms were adorned with antique costumes worn by members of the Royal Court around that era with juxtaposition haute couture dresses and menswear from the past few decades including Audrey Hepburn’s Dress she wore to collect her Oscar. I loved the Vivien Westwood dress hitched up on one leg as worn by Billie Piper. Other gowns were from the Met Gala in New York. Afterwards lunch in the Pavilions and a wander round the Kensington Gardens where we spied the Diana Memorial Garden and a statue of her with children Prince William and Harry recently unveiled. In the evening I met Peter, my husband and we went to the Guildhall to an evening reception for a charity. Such a special building full of history. The following day I travelled to the Lake District with friends to swim a mile in the Great North Swim in Lake Windermere for WaterAid. I had been training all year for this and was really pleased to have done it!! The perfect end to a perfect week.