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19.04.2012- Kensington Palace

Thursday, 19 April 2012

A few weekends ago, my mum and I popped along to Kensington Palace for the day. We wanted to spend our free Saturday exploring somewhere different, and although we'd been to Kensington Gardens before, neither of us had set foot in the palace itself. I kept meaning to visit last year during the Enchanted Palace exhibition, but sadly I never got round to it. However, last month the building was fully reopened to the public after extensive renovation, and is now home to a series of new installations and mini-exhibitions, all of which come together to tell the varied stories of a selection of the palace's former inhabitants. Needless to say, I took plenty of pictures, so here's a look at what we discovered during our visit...

The newly built Jubilee entrance.

The suitably imposing entrance foyer, where we picked up our tickets.
 
One of the first things we saw was this beautiful light installation...

...before proceeding to The King's Staircase, which illustrates the varying roles which were occupied in the court of King George I, comparing the hierarchy of power to an increasingly precarious game of cards.

The view of the gardens from The King's State Apartments. 

Throughout this part of the palace sit lots of figurines embodying the many people who helped maintain the pomp and spectacle of the Georgian court. The Dance Master literally had music coming out of his fingertips!

Nestled away within the apartments are these beautifully decadent Georgian clothes, which again hint at the luxury which surrounded George I.

Moving on, we arrived at The Queen's State Apartments. Once occupied by Queen Mary II, these are some of the oldest rooms in the palace, and incorporate an amazing installation telling the story of the Glorious Revolution which happened in the late 17th century.

The Queen's staircase, depicting the shift in power which occurred as Mary and her husband William of Orange began their reign.

The installation explores the Stuart line, and features lots of little secrets which you are encouraged to discover for yourself. One of the things I really liked about the whole experience of visiting Kensington Palace was how interactive each exhibition was- it makes such a difference in helping each story come to life. 

We then made our way to the 'Victoria Revealed' exhibition, held in the rooms where Queen Victoria once lived. Featuring an extensive selection of her personal possessions and themed around her letters and journals, this part of the palace really gives you a chance to explore her life in her own words.

I think this was one of the most beautiful things we came across during our visit to the palace- a screen wrought out of the words exchanged by Victoria and Albert in their love letters. Although it's not an original piece, I think it's a lovely touch, and one which really gives you a sense of how lonely Victoria must have been during the first years of her reign (needless to say it brought a little tear to my eye!)

Victoria's wedding dress, beautifully presented with paper roses and petals. 

An interpretation of the Field Marshal's uniform which Albert wore to marry Victoria, complete with beautiful floral detailing, brooches and embroidery. 

 
The stunning sunken garden which sits in the grounds of the palace.

Overall, we had a lovely day and it was great to discover somewhere we'd never been before. These are only a small selection of the pictures I took, as I think nothing can beat immersing yourself in the experience itself. If you're a history buff, love discovering new stories or are just after some escapism, then I'd definitely recommend a visit. I can't wait to go back and explore all the things I missed the first time around!

To find out more about Kensington Palace, visit the website.

Have you ever been to Kensington Palace? If so, what did you think?

(Image credit: Sarah Farrell, please do not reproduce without permission.)

6 comments:

  1. WOW! I've never been but I will now. Just my type of thing, romantic and historic xx

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  2. SO stunning. I love all of the little details! x hivenn

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  3. I'm not sure why I've never been, it looks amazing! x

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  4. Gorgeous photos, the exhibit is really beautiful xoxo

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  5. These pictures are absolutely beautiful - just discovered your blog and thinks it's so pretty and girly.

    Now a follower, if you could return the favour that would be awesome

    x

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  6. I've never bee but you're photos look amazing! Definitely somewhere to think about going in le future

    xx

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