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Saturday, October 09, 2010

We go to Buckingham Palace

J's picture of the Queen Victoria memorial, Pall Mall
That's stretching the truth slightly, but we did go to the Queen's Gallery which is within the palace. We had a day off for J's birthday and I booked the visit to the  Victoria & Albert Love & Art exhibition a few months ago, after we saw the film Young Victoria.

I don't know about you but I've always thought of   Queen Victoria as a dumpy, sour faced woman in black. But it turns out, that was in the second part of her reign after her husband Albert died, aged just 42. In the years they were married they were very happy and the exhibition shows the works of art, sculpture and jewellery that they commissioned for each other.

Was the Queen at home?
 Victoria more or less lost interest in art after Albert's death. She commissioned some wonderful works to commemorate his life, including the Albert Memorial in Kensington Gardens, but the rest of her life was spent in mourning, with the room in which Albert died lovingly kept as it was.

I loved the picture of Victoria that was given to Albert as a birthday presen (left). Her shoulders are bare, her hair cascades over her shoulder and she looks sensuous and wanton.

Very few examples of her costumes survive but the exhibition had a sumptuous dress which showed Victoria had a tiny waist when she was slim.

I loved seeing the watercolours and drawings that she did. She was a talented artist but being Queen it was difficult for her to paint so she mainly indulged in her hobby when she was with her family.

The exhibition has been extended until early December. Check it out here

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