Back to blogging! How do I do this again? Time to just jump back in!
To start, we are going to Kensington Palace! Kensington is part of the Historic Royal Palaces. Surprisingly, these palaces actually receive no government funding. They are one charity that charges entry. You may recall my previous visit to another HRP – The Tower of London & Hampton Court. I highly recommend all of the HRP’s. They are impeccable!
Before heading to the Palace, Mum & I stopped for a cream tea at Candella on Church Street. Mum actually makes scones and has experimented a lot with her recipies to get a really nice one. That said, we both agreed that Candella’s were hands down the best scones we have EVER had. If you’re in South Kens GO EAT THE SCONES.
Kensington has been the home to many Royals over the years. Currently, Will & Kate and Harry are in residence. And no, I did not see them. They don’t live in the part that is open to the public! Previous occupants include William & Mary, Queen Anne, Victoria (mostly before she became Queen), Princesses Margaret (the current Queen’s sister), and Princess Diana.
The palace is divided into four separate paths: The King’s Apartment (King George I / King George II & Queen Caroline), The Queen’s Rooms (Queen Mary II – of William & Mary), Victoria Revealed (Queen Victoria) and the Modern Royals.
Each path had its own unique symbol, colour and pattern that was on all the interpretations and made it pretty easy to navigate. Mum and I started with the Georgians and the Kings Path. Notice the 45 Historic Steps on the sign!
Like at Hampton Court, the Georgian section featured these life-size replicas of Court clothes. Each of these figures represented a real member of the court. The dresses had their names on the stomacher while the men’s sleeves had the information. So freaking cool!
I really liked the King’s Staircase – the murals are so beautiful and so much fun. The artist, William Kent, did a great job of portraying the liveliness of the court and real members.
This bench may not look like much but it was perhaps the coolest bit of interpretation I saw at the Palace! Along this hallway was a bench that had a timeline of the royals! Note how their names are inscribed and you can see the patterns change from the Stuarts and their xxxxxx to the Georgians and their /////. But the real kicker is the pillows. These are the portraits of each monarch! Pictured are Mary & William and Anne! Also their colours match of course – the Stuarts are blue (as you can see). It was an amazing way of turning a bench / hallway into a great piece of interpretation.
William & Mary’s private dining room! Mary loved to collect ceramics and Dutch style paintings/ flowers. So of course, these geniuses used ceramic plates for their interpretation. It looks wonderful because it goes with the whole aesthetic of the rooms.
Victoria’s rooms! Before Victoria became queen she lived in Kensington Palace with her widowed mother, the Duchess of Kent. Her mum and the head of household kept her under a sort of house arrest to ‘protect’ her. She wasn’t able to meet many other children and spent most of her time playing with her dolls, playing with her spaniel and spending time with her governess.
She became Queen at the young age of 18 and fell in love with Prince Albert of Saxe Coburg and Gotha. They were a love match and ruled together. They wrote a lot of letters and their lovely quotes are throughout.
They replicated the outfit worn by Albert on their wedding day. On the cuff of the sleeve is a quote from Victoria about Albert. Even his garter had the year when he wore the ensemble. So beautiful!
This is from the exhibit, Fashion Rules, all about how the Modern Royals have managed to be both stylish and timeless. It focused on how the Queen, her sister Princess Margaret and Princess Diana dressed. I really loved this dress from when Diana visited Scotland. One of the rules that they followed was to ‘Dress Diplomatically.’
Pros: Great staff, amazing interpretation, good exhibits, beautiful location, adorable shop and cafe. Loads of places to sit and relax, fun interactives and stunning gardens.
Cons: It gets busy!