A Weekend in the Big Smoke – Part 2

After birthday cards and presents, a small victoria sponge with a candle and a tasty breakfast, I had a very happy sister who had just been informed we were going to head west to visit Kensington Palace.

It was an incredibly interesting visit. There were 3 different areas to visit, first for us was “Victoria Revealed”. This documented Queen Victoria’s earlier life, before she became Queen at just 18 (we said to my sister how would you fancy that shock this morning) in 1837 and then followed through whilst she ruled until 1901. As the longest ruler in history she was at the throne for 64 years. Our Queen Elizabeth 2nd only has another 3 years to go and she will beat her! Sadness hit the exhibition when it explained how badly Victoria took Alberts death, he was only 42 when he died and it took Queen Vic years to appear in public again and she wore black everyday following, in mourning.
Kensington Gardens through a filtered window.
The second area was called “the Queen’s Apartment”, a part of the Palace once occupied by Queen Mary and King William, who ruled following the 1688 revolution. They were famous for bringing a number of traditional fashions over from Holland for example, beautiful gardens, a love of tea and beautiful porcelain. Queen Mary was loved by many, however unfortunately she died of small pox in 1694. This meant all her possessions had to be burnt to avoid the spread of infection. The displays here in the Palace are representative of what it would have been like at the time of her residency, however this is done through alternative objects, as non of her original possessions remain.

 

Mary and William couldn’t have children which meant the line of the throne went to Mary’s sister, Anne. Queen Anne was plagued with poor health and after 18 pregnancies, Prince William was the only child to survive. The image above was an area of 18 tiny little baby chairs which represented all of the babies she lost either at childbirth, miscarriage or when they were very young. It was such a sad scene, and if that wasn’t sad enough William, the future King, died at just 11 years old.
This meant there was no one directly in line to the throne! Parliament went through just under 50 people to find an appropriate King or Queen to take over from Queen Anne. The new leader had to be “upright, worthy and above all Protestant”, which meant any Catholics were ruled out straight away. George, Elector of Hanover was 49th to the throne and became George I, crowned in 1715. The third part of the exhibition allowed you to walk around the “King’s Apartment”, which George 1st had occupied.
Following our educational tour we headed to the Orangery where we indulged in some afternoon tea. Afternoon tea was created by Anne Maria Stanhope, one of Queen Victoria’s ladies in waiting. She found that she got a little peckish between her breakfast and evening meal later on, she kept her snacks a secret for a while until it became more popular with friends and so afternoon tea was born. Sandwiches, cake, beauuutiful scones and tea with real leaves were served to us on lovely stands, very tasty too!

 

We delivered the news of the final stop of the day to Rach, who giggled excitedly!
The BodyGuard Musical, one of London’s newest musicals! The singing, dancing, lighting, dresses and the staging were each fantastic. I had not seen the film so it was a fabulous way to watch the story of a pop star and her bodyguard unravel through song, dance and incredible staging. I would definitely recommend a visit to the Aldelphi on the Strand to sing along to some nineties classics, in particular, Whitney’s version of ‘I will always love you’ (which was originally written and sung by Dolly Parton) and an energetic finale of ‘I wanna dance with somebody’.
*****

 

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