It wasn’t that long ago that my meetup group did a tour of the gardens at Government House here in Victoria, and this past week was our chance to actually get inside the house and take a look there. We did a tour on Wednesday afternoon with a lovely guide named Susan, who was extremely interesting. She not only gave us ‘official’ information but threw in extra amusing tidbits here and there that you wouldn’t normally get to hear about Government House. She certainly made our tour very lively, on top of the squeaks and squawks from our babies who were along for the ride!
This is the dining room where the Emperor and Empress of Japan dined last week with the Lieutenant Governor and 37 other people. You can see in the middle of the row of chairs on the left that one chair has arms and is a bit taller than the others. This is where the most important person in the room sits, which was the Emperor last week.
Here is the great hall (I forget all the official names of the rooms) where functions and ceremonies are held. I didn’t show it but the windows in this picture overlook the pool, and Victoria in the background, and there are windows at the left (out of the picture) that look over the city as well with the ocean in the background. Since Government House sits high up on a hill, it’s views are breathtaking.
This is the tour guide’s favourite room and I really liked it too, the yellow is so sunny and inviting. There was a small inlaid table in this room that is worth about $30,000 which was quite beautiful. Apparently the Queen loves to perch on the side of the sofa when she comes to visit. (How exciting to have met someone that has met the Queen!) Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip are expected to visit Canada next year. If they choose to visit Victoria, now I will be able to picture her relaxing in this yellow salon, perched on the edge of the couch.
Here is the main hall with its rich red carpet. The house is full of beautiful First Nations art as our Lieutenant Governor, the Honourable Steven L. Point, is our first Lieutenant Governor of Aboriginal origin.
Finally, this unique and stunning stained glass window is fixed above the official front door of the House. The stairs, which the window is adjacent to, lead up to the private apartment of His Honour and his family and also the private Royal apartment, reserved for the Queen’s visits.
Thanks to Susan and the security guard Ron at Government House who were more than accommodating to our group, and to Aline for helping me to set up the whole tour. I highly recommend visiting Government House (inside or out) if you have a chance. Lucky people may get invited to an official event there sometime, but the rest of us (except commercial operators) can book inside group tours by visiting Government House’s website and following the instructions listed there.