The trip was kindly organised by Downe House parent, Mr Jeremy Friedlander and hosted by Lord Karan Bilimoria for the two girls and their Downe House Exchange Buddies, Heloise and Louise.
Amruta and Manavi report,
“During our Exeat Weekend, we were fortunate enough to visit the Houses of Parliament with our Exchange Buddies and were shown around by Lord Bilimoria of Chelsea, who is a British Indian entrepreneur as well as a life peer in the House of Lords. We were shown a 17th Century painting which depicted the first British Ambassador to India presenting his credentials and we marveled at the ancient connections that India shares with Britain.
In the House of Commons, we were shown the Speaker’s Chair, designed for the Palace by Pugin in 1849, which was destroyed when the House of Commons was bombed in 1941. A temporary chair was used while the Commons sat in the Lords’ Chamber after the bombing. At the back of the chair hangs the bag in which MPs deposit petitions presented to the House, on behalf of members of the public or outside organisations. It was fascinating to learn that this is how the term, “It’s in the bag” was coined.
We then entered the House of Lords which was decked from top to bottom in the traditional royal colour of red. Here we visited the Peers’ Lobby, through which we entered the Chamber – the heart of the House of Lords where the Lords scrutinise Bills which have been passed by the House of Commons.
We are very thankful to Downe House and Heloise’s parents who arranged the visit and to Lord Bilimoria who made the tour so fascinating and memorable for us.”
In July, Heloise and Louise will be travelling to India for their Global Student Exchange trip to Mayo College Girls’ School when all four girls will be reunited once again. Downe House offers girls in the Fifth Form a choice of 15 partner schools across six continents.
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