Queen for the Day
Kensington Palace, oh what a beautiful palace you are. This wasn't my first time there as I visited the palace on my first trip to London. But I remembered clearly that our first trip to the palace was quite a dreadful one. It was December, it was pissing it down and as the palace was located in the middle of Kensington Gardens, we had to walk for a good 10 minutes before arriving at the palace. That 10 minute walk felt endless. Nevertheless, my second trip there (not my last one, I'm sure of it!) was on a rather grey Wednesday. The sky looked as if it was on the brink of raining, but thankfully it didn't! You confuse me, British weather.
I remembered bits of the palace from the inside, but never got to appreciate the palace from the outside. The surroundings, the Round Pond (that I'm absolutely in love with) and just the atmosphere there in general. For the first time in a long time, I felt at ease with my life as I strolled along the garden; serene inside. It was a glorious feeling!
|I look pregnant here, but I promise you, I'm not. It's the top doing all the job!|
We entered through the Sunken Garden located on the right hand side of the Palace and wow am I in awe of English gardens. Compared to the one in Hampton Court Palace, this one is a tad bit tiny but I didn't mind that at all. Not usually a big fan of gardens but can't help but appreciate this one thoroughly. Honestly felt as if I was in a Jane Austen movie or something. Now, where's my Mr. Darcy?!
The main focus of the palace is Queen Victoria and her life there. She was born there, but frequented Kensington numerous times during her reign. The palace also has a few backstories of a few other blue-blooded royals who stayed in the palace, but I wasn't so familiar with any of the other royals.
As you enter the palace you'll be led upstairs to Victoria Revealed. You'll literally be immersed by the thoughts inside her head as quotes from her diary are scattered all over the floors and walls of the palace. And let me just say this, she was an awesome writer.
What touched me most about our visit was her marriage to Prince Albert. They both loved each other so much that she mourned for him for forty years! Pretty ballistic and such a long time too. But then again, I guess that's what happens when you lose the most valuable and loved person in your life right?
Like I said before, Queen Victoria went on a deep mourning for her Albert on his death. For years, she didn't make any public appearances that riled up the country for quite a while. Won't get on the nitty gritty side of things, but, this letter that was displayed in the palace broke my heart to pieces right then and there. Even now, reading it, I can hear my heart slowly breaking into pieces right before my eyes.
It reads, "Sir James was very helpful; he had seen much worse cases. But the breathing was the alarming thing - so rapid, I think 60 respirations in a minute... I bent over him and said, 'Es ist Kleines Frauchen' (it is your little wife), and he bowed his head; I asked him if he would give me ein Kuss (a kiss) and he did so. He seemed half dozing, quite quiet... Two or three long but perfectly gentle breaths were drawn, the hand clasping mine and... all, all was over."
Tell me you didn't tear up a bit whilst reading it! I felt all the emotions when I first read it. The dress above was the dress Queen Victoria donned in her later years.
Ending the trip quite sullenly after reading Queen Victoria's letter, we boosted ourselves by looking at some of the dresses Queen Elizabeth II, Princess Diana and Princess Margaret has worn over the past few years. Decided not to post the pictures because I don't want to ruin the surprise! You'll just have to go there yourself to see them, because they're quite magical!
Walked down right across the palace and came across these beautiful gems at The Round Pond. Words cannot describe how happy I was to see the swans! Never seen one in my life and my are they gorgeous. Definitely visit the pond if you're in London, the stroll down the park is worth it!
After coming across a few squirrels by The Orangery (such a beautiful restaurant, might have to have tea the next time I'm there!), we bid adieu to the palace. Honestly, I could stroll down Kensington Gardens for hours and not get bored. And the last picture above? Pretty sure that's where William and Kate lives. Harry too, correct me if I'm wrong though! Would've loved to bump into those Royals, but eh, never gonna happen.
There is an admission for the palace. An adult's ticket costs £18 if you buy it on the spot, but if you it online it costs £16.90 (a bargain, I must say) and children under the age of 16 are free to enter without any cost! Definitely give this palace a go and spend half the day immersing yourself in history. Worth every penny!
Kensington Gardens, London W8 4PX, United Kingdom
Much love, Ashley xx