Windsor Castle and Buckingham Palace

Today is the day that I've been working towards all year.  I'm defending my thesis this afternoon!  I can't believe it's already here, in part because I feel much differently than I expected to.  I spent all year readings thousands of pages of letters, books, architectural plans, newspapers, government records, and more, and instead of feeling nervous, the way I expected I would, I feel completely ready to tell a room full of my peers and my professors why George IV's building works at Windsor Castle and Buckingham Palace transformed the British monarchy into the institution known and loved today.
I'm sure that just before I give my talk, I'll get a sudden burst of nervousness, which is totally par for the course for me, but I've been pretty relaxed (about this, anyways) all week, and I've enjoyed planning my outfit for the defense.  I'm wearing some of my favorite pieces, all of which happen to be old, but here's a business casual look I'd love to wear if I had gotten a totally new outfit for the occasion!
dress | cardigan | shoes | necklace | lipstick

As a bonus, here is an example of what George IV did at Windsor Castle:
The top is the design George IV's architect proposed, the bottom shows what that side of the castle looked like before

And this is the final (and contemporary) product

Architectural design via
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