Thursday, June 07, 2012

Tourist Tales: Kensington Palace

Queen Victoria's wedding dress.  Love the mirror for a rear view.
One the opening weekend after it's renovation I visited Kensington Palace in London's Kensington Gardens.  I had seen posters all over the tube about the Victoria Revealed exhibition and as a lover of all things English heritage thought it was one not be be missed.  However, I was so terribly disappointed.  The new Palace layout is utterly confusing and requires you to always walk back to a central room, essentially causing more traffic build up in each room as you try and battle your way through the door ways.  I was looking forward to reading about Victoria and the history of the Palace however that was not to be.  In each room there were seats along the windows which when you sat down activated a speaker device that spoke in whispers and generally a thick accent.  I couldn't understand any of it!  The Palace is an incredibly beautiful building and the history of the monarchs would have been very interesting however none of it was conveyed very well.  

 Each room had paper silhouettes and cut outs of guards, kings and queens draped from the furniture and lights.  From personal opinion I believe the Palace was catering more towards a children's museum rather than pay homage to the building itself.  As for the Victoria Revealed exhibition the one and only room dedicated to Victoria I wandered in to was filled with a couple glass cabinets and no explanations.  On the other hand the costumes, furniture and kings gowns were absolutely splendid and the collection of old paintings and portraits is vast.

I really don't like writing such negative comments on my blog about museums or anything for that matter but I love museums too much not say anything.  While I was in the book shop an assistant asked a customer what they thought of the new renovation and the lady said she thought it was terrible!  
Oh dear!  


  1. Oh no... That sounds like a less than optimal experience... Hopefully seeing that wedding dress made up for it a little bit - its like something out of a fairy tale! How's your transition back home going? Are you settling in ok or are you pining for England?

    1. You know you are right, the wedding dress was incredible and so so tiny! Victoria was petite. Home is very different and I'm totally in a bubble at the moment, still unpacking and it never stops! I am definitely pining for the UK especially after the jubilee weekend but such is life and I'm going to tackle everything head on and get back on the blogger train too! Thanks so much for asking :-) x


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