Sunday, October 5, 2008

A Tour of Parliament at Westminster Palace

Our trip to Parliament at Westminster Palace gave me the experience to become more familiar with the history of Britain’s Government, and another democratic government besides that of the United States. It was very interesting to see the history of Britain’s government through the halls of the palace: The paintings, portraits, statues, and details marking the reign of each monarch. I especially enjoyed the Queen’s robbing room, and learning about her royal rituals. It interesting to me that Britain continues to preserve the beauty of the palace as well as its flaws, such as the dark, fading frescos in the robbing room. To me, this showed how much Britain values and preserves its history and culture—the good and the ugly.
            What was most awesome to me was to see the transformation that has taken place in Britain’s government from a monarchy to a democracy, and how they preserve their traditions. One thing I though was especially interesting, was the ritual where the queen gets the door shut in her face to show that she has no power in Parliament, though she is still greatly admired as a symbol. I really enjoyed the contrast of the House of Commons to the rest of the palace in its simplicity as well as the contrast between the statues of modern leaders compared to those of the old monarchy. It shows just how much the British government has changed, though it remains to hold tightly onto the traditions of its country.

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