In March, Kensington Palace reopened following a £12m refurbishment, meaning visitors from Lancashire can see the Victorian dining chairs and antique dining tables that have been used by members of the Royal Family over the past 300 years.
The home of monarchs like Queen Anne, Queen Mary II and King George II (the last reigning monarch to live here) the Royal Family still have apartments here, although the gardens and lavish State Rooms are open to the public. Visitors making the trip from Cumbria will see antique cabinets, Victorian dining chairs, antique bookcases and many other beautiful pieces. However, the antique marquetry furniture is almost overshadowed by the magnificent painted ceilings of chambers like Queen Caroline’s Drawing Room and the Cupola Room, where Queen Victoria was born. Designed by William Kent in 1722, the centrepiece is a monumental clock containing a music box which plays the works of Handel.
The clock is one of the highlights of Victoria Revealed, a new permanent exhibition which explores the life of Britain’s longest reigning monarch in words collected from her own journals and correspondence. Paintings, jewellery, toys, clothing and other carefully selected exhibits are accompanied by interactive displays evoking key themes and moments from the Queen’s reign. Her family life is recounted with touching objects such as Princess Louise’s cradle and the commemorative bracelet she wore after Prince Albert’s untimely death, containing locks of his hair.
Bring Victorian style into your home by visiting an antique dealer in Preston. An antique balloon back dining chair or Victorian oak partners desk will add a touch of Kensington chic at a very reasonable price.
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