Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Royal Garden Party – 23 July 2011

'The Dress' dominated news broadcasts, at the time of the Royal Wedding in May. When we visited Buckingham Palace last August, and had our tickets converted into an annual pass, we didn't even know there was going to be a royal wedding. So to learn the dress was going on display at the Palace summer opening, was a bonus.

We planned to meet David Smith at the Palace, but before then, we decided to complete the Grosvenor Estate walk that we had to abandon last Palace visit, because of rain. The Grosvenor Estate is recognised as the largest and best preserved Regency estate in Europe. There is a real mixture of top quality housing, once the residences of aristocracy, side streets occupied by tradesmen (we saw an old time motor repair garage still operating) and even experimental social housing.

The mix still applies, as the social housing is still there, and the best streets still have private residences, even including Lady Thatcher with an armed policeman outside.

The Palace is, of course, stunning and we enjoyed the chance for a second visit on our tickets, purchased last year. This year the special exhibition was the royal collection of Faberge. The display was amazing, and certainly far more than we have seen previously. The wide range of objects made was intriguing, even a kiwi.

The Dress was fascinating to see up close, and the welcome chance to sit and watch a video about it's design, was great too. We also enjoyed seeing reproductions of the wedding photos, displayed in the Throne Room, where they were taken.

Lunch of course had to be at the pavilion just outside the Palace, beside the large lawn used for garden parties. As we left, we were approached by an ITV reporter, and asked our impressions of The Dress. But unfortunately we didn't appear on the news clip that night.

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