Maggie and I in front of Kensington Palace

Maggie and I in front of Kensington Palace

We started our “work week” with a trip up to London. Altho the train took 3 hours, it was 3 hours of planning just what we would do when we hit the capital.

Kensington Palace was at or near the top of Maggie’s must-see list (neck and neck with seeing Jane Austen’s Bath). She had just finished a biography of Princess Diana and has been interested for years in the Royal Family and their various shenanigans. KP was Diana and the boys’ home after the divorce and so it was important for Maggie to see just where this was.

Our train got into Paddington Station by 10:00 and it’s just a pleasant 30 minute walk, thru Kensington Gardens, to the Palace. It was a gorgeous summer day in London … no humidity and sunny and seventies. Our walk allowed us a chance to chat and Maggie data-dumped about the Royal family, especially Princess Diana, and discussed the various theories on whether she was a “good ‘un” or not.

When we approached the front gates, my heart stopped for a minute: there were barricades up and obviously some big happening was being set up. But a nice guard, seeing our “horror” said that the entrance was around to the side while the main was closed. All was well!

After

In the Queen's Apartment, we learned about the Royal family during William and Mary's time.

In the Queen’s Apartment, we learned about the Royal family during William and Mary’s time.


William actually designed these apartments for Mary as he was often off doing King things and she was left behind.

The apartments are gorgeous, but the final room is kind of sad: the room where her child was still-born and she died. William went into deep mourning and some say, died of a broken heart. The crown then bounced around, with advisers seeking anyone BUT James, the Catholic (who died known as “the old pretender”).

Queen's State Apartments

Queen’s State Apartments

The next exhibit in the Palace was the King’s Apartments: an exhibit of the apartments from when George II (mid 1700s). Theese rooms were so different (and yet so similar) to the Queens’.

Princess Di hologram in the Royal Fashions exhibit

Princess Di hologram in the Royal Fashions exhibit

The exhibit that Maggie really wanted to see was the one titled Fashion Rules. This is an exhibit that shows the fashions that Queen Elizabeth II, Princess Margaret and Princess Diana.

The dresses are gorgeous … my particular favorites are the ones from the 50s/early 60s that Elizabeth and Margaret wore. Altho the Diana styles are so very elegant (and she was slow slender that the styles really accentuated her bone structure and model-like looks).

QE2's dress

QE2’s dress


Princess Margaret's dress ... LOVE this one!

Princess Margaret’s dress … LOVE this one!


A quote about Princess Di ... and from what I remember, this was very true!

A quote about Princess Di … and from what I remember, this was very true!


A dress designed for Princess Di!

A dress designed for Princess Di!


Two things:  how they define the gender-specific bathrooms and the wallpaper is all cartoony pix of Di

Two things: how they define the gender-specific bathrooms and the wallpaper is all cartoony pix of Di

The final exhibit in Kensington Palace is one dedicated to Queen Victoria’s years of living in the Palace (from childhood thru widowhood). So fun to see her toys (a lovely dollhouse, cradle, books, etc) and her teen pasttimes (she was actually a pretty good watercolorist).

Victoria's Toys ...

Victoria’s Toys …


Some of the mannequins in the Ballroom (these outfits are made of PAPER that has been stiffened and made to drape like fabric)

Some of the mannequins in the Ballroom (these outfits are made of PAPER that has been stiffened and made to drape like fabric)


Victoria and Albert

Victoria and Albert


Victoria's children

Victoria’s children


A replica of the Crystal Plaza (actually sheets of plastic which are cut and hung to look like a long, glass building)

A replica of the Crystal Plaza (actually sheets of plastic which are cut and hung to look like a long, glass building)


Victoria died a few years after her 60th Anniversary

Victoria died a few years after her 60th Anniversary


Victoria's statue outside Kensington Palace

Victoria’s statue outside Kensington Palace

After a very genteel lunch in the cafe at KP, we headed back thru Kensington Gardens/Hyde Park … discovering the Peter Pan statue and the “headwaters” of the Serpentine.

Peter Pan statue ... filled with the Darling children and fairies and sheer delight

Peter Pan statue … filled with the Darling children and fairies and sheer delight


Tomorrow – day 8 and a trip to Wales’ capital, Cardiff!


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