When daylight savings time comes along, many of us struggle to remember to change all of our clocks (or worse, just wait six months until the oven shows the right time again). But fiddling with a few dials and digital displays is nothing compared to what has to happen in Queen Elizabeth's royal residences—a biannual undertaking that requires a whole team of experts to spend 40 hours on a weekend.
This weekend, per the Royal Collection Trust (the department of the Royal Household that cares for the Royal Collection and opens portions of the Queen's residences to the public), a group of Horological Conservators will adjust over 1,500 timepieces to account for the end of British Summer Time.
That total number includes 450 clocks at Windsor Castle, 600 at Buckingham Palace and 50 at the Palace of Holyroodhouse; models range from traditional timepieces (albeit often centuries old, museum-quality ones) to musical clocks, astronomical clocks, miniature clocks, and turret clocks. According to the Trust, this wide range reflects "mechanical innovation over the centuries and the tastes of successive monarchs."
The Trust released a set of photos (below), which offer a look at the conservators' process. It certainly isn't for the horologically faint of heart.
After an extended closure due to the pandemic, the Royal Collection Trust has reopened royal residences to the public, although several new guidelines are being enforced to ensure proper social distancing. And as always, thanks to a dedicated team of conservators, visitors will always be sure to be aware of the time.
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