Walking around in the streets of Garching, Germany, you can expect to see many things, and a collection of red London telephone boxes is not among them. Yet here they are.
The telephone boxes are situated in front of a private house, together with an old red Citroën. One of them is more special than the others, however, as it has a sign explaining that this phone booth previously stood in front of Buckingham Palace and was used once by Queen Elizabeth II.
According to the sign, on the night of the 16th to the 17th of October 1979, the British monarch used this phone to call her butler because she had forgotten her keys. The phone box continued to serve at the palace location until August of 1985, after which it was replaced. Presumably, it has been in the care of this Garching resident ever since.
The phone box is set on the corner of the street as if it were still in use. To assist this idea, a very 1980s-looking mannequin—notably not the queen—stands inside holding the phone as if making a call. From time to time the mannequins are swapped.
In early 2020, the 1980’s man was replaced by a little girl on a stool. In late 2020, the girl was replaced by a monkey. In late 2021, the monkey was replaced by a man and a little girl. In early 2022, it’s a lucky cat with 3 bottles of champagne.
Know Before You Go
The phone box is on the street and can be visited by anyone, but do not disturb the owner.