20 July 2012

Travel tales: inside Kensington Palace

When one visits a palace, one should indulge in the event by enjoying a glass of wine on a sunny afternoon.
And to accompany the wine, one should have some strawberries and cream.
I truly enjoyed my visit inside Kensington Palace. Every room I entered made me happy and take a big breath in wonder. It is rather spectacular. Even the signs for the toilets were photographable, and a sign of the humour mixed with tradition that was to come..
Could this be a logo for when we interview a royal on No Limits?

My Aunty came to London for the day, and we decided to do something touristy. She had not been to the palace before, so it was a new experience for her. Entry was reasonable given the maynificent exhibitions - £15.90 for an adult - this includes a donation to the charity that helps maintain royal grounds and buildings, and £13.20 for concession, again including the donation. I used my (still valid) student card as concession. I am impressed with the acceptance of a student card here.

There are still royals living in a section of the palace - staff were quite tight lipped about who and where, but thye told me Prince Harry was returning next year. As we walked back along Kensington High Street, we saw a road that was probably the back entrance to the palace, and a sign saying no photography.

I loved the mix of old vs modern - old as in artefacts and paintings from hundreds of uesrs ago mixed with modern curation. Think giant cardboard doll cutouts, plywood light boxes, audio stories and light projections and the interactivity. The attendant told us she has received mixed reactions - some believe the exhibitions steer too much away from tradition.

There are three main exhibitions - Victoria, Jubilee (a mix between Queen Victoria's and Elizabeth's) and Diana, the King's and Queen's Quarters. Read the stories here.

This is the Princess Diana exhibition, with beautiful wallpaper and five of her most famous dresses.
The staff were very knowledgeable in the history, and they provided tourists with great detail about the relationships between the royals. This man played a courtier - and kept the theme going in our conversation, hoping my photo would go far amd wide so he could be promoted from courtier, and told me he is not freaked out by my iPhone!
This was in the Queen's Quarters. The walls whispered secrets.
And the view from the window. Gorgeous hey?!
This room was very sad - titled "Anne's 18 hopefuls" - 18 chhildren's chairs set up. Queen Anne had 18 children, the oldest lived until he was 11.
This was also in the Queen's Quarters - which I felt was more beautiful and opulent than the King's.
The Jubilee exhibition was fabulous - heavily focused on Queen Vidtoria's Diamond Jubilee, but also featuring elements of Queen Elzabeth's in June. There were old news clippings, quotes, light displays and an interactive element of being able to write a postcard to Queen Victoria telling her why you are visiting London, pictured in the bottom left of the photo below.
This was the menu at the celebration. An event was also held to feed the poor - theor was a lot of criticism about the lavish celebrations among the immense poverty of the time.
Here I am in a Punch and Judy puppet show. I love this picture!
I took so many photos which I will have to sort through. This is just a selection of the best ones. Finally, one of the quotes from Queen Elizabeth's Jubillee. It truly describes how I am feeling on this trip.
I loved the Kensington Palace - it has been one of my favourite parts of the trip. It made me remember how much I loved history and curation.

The only downfall was the gift shop - I had hoped it would feature more products themed with the curation style of the palace, but it didn't. Oh well, I will always have the memories.

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