Kensington Palace Museum

20:24 Alyson Tart 0 Comments

We often have walked through Kensington Gardens with Belle, around the paths, trying to avoid the Round Pond so Belle doesn't join the swans, and strolling by Kensington Palace.

But, we have never taken the time to venture inside.  When my parents were in town, we decided to finally stop by.

Besides being the home of Prince William and Kate Middleton, the Palace is famous for it's detailed history of Queen Victoria. You hear Victoria & Albert's names over all types of monuments, but I wasn't too familiar with their history.

Victoria became Queen at age 18, and would go on to become the longest serving British monarch, with 63 years on the throne.

Many stories about Victoria though talk about her relationship with her husband Albert, and what they achieved together. Albert took a strong interest in arts & industry, famous for the Great Exhibition held in Hyde Park in 1851. They also had 9 children together (geez!).

Wedding gown - see how short she was?
1.52m - less than 5 ft tall!

The stories aren't only about the happy times in the relationship; some stories also talk about Victoria after the untimely death of her husband. She went into mourning for years, only wearing black for the remainder of her life, and avoiding public appearances for many years following.

Mourning garb

The exhibit is covered with quotes from letters from Queen Victoria over the walls and glass, a very quirky modern museum throughout.

While this is one of the largest portion of the museum exhibit, there are a few other wings as well.

There are the Kings and Queen State Rooms, with history of other parts of the British monarchy. Lots of intrigue and drama of course. Make sure to check out the "interactive" type displays in each room, otherwise you may run through them without gathering any information. Sometimes they are fake newspapers and gazettes, other times it may be a voice whispering through the walls.

Exhibit to represent Queen Anne & her children - 17 pregnancies
with only 6 children living; of those, only one lived past infacy
only to die at age 11 of suspected pneumonia

The newest exhibit we saw was Fashion Rules. It is not a very large exhibit, but features dresses worn by the royals, including the current Queen, her sister Princess Margaret, and probably most famously, Princess Diana. The most interesting part was comparing the fashions of the Queen to her sister, one needing to be more conservative, while her sister had the possibility of playing with fashion a bit more.

Ball gowns galore

Overall, the museum was interesting. Not my top visit in London, but worth a check out if you are around the park. One piece of advice - if you want a nice, quiet museum experience, you may want to skip out on Family Fridays.

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