SINCE Princess Diana, Kensington Palace has been the focus of the nation’s mourning. Now a new exhibition has opened to celebrate the seven princesses that occupied the palace.
Critics may describe this exhibition as a peculiar wonder, which encompasses an artistic flair, and looks as though it could have been inspired by the likes of Tim Burton.
Kensington Palace, a place known previously for glamour and tragedy, has recently opened its new exhibition ‘The Enchanted Palace’. It is based around the seven princess inhabitants Mary, Anne, Caroline, Charlotte, Victoria, Margaret and Diana. Critics may describe this exhibition as a peculiar wonder, which encompasses an artistic flair, and looks as though it could have been inspired by the likes of Tim Burton. The exhibition has a mixture of gothic fashion, puppets, art and performances. It takes the visitor on a journey through the main tale of seven princesses, which has a far from fairy tale ending.
Initially, the exhibition appears very dark and hard to navigate, but this is all part of the experience. Guests are given a small booklet containing an illustrated map and a brief summary for each of the collection of rooms. It includes useful information about the exhibition features and the stories behind each of the rooms on display. These include The Room of Beginnings, The Room of Enlightenment, The Room of Quarrel and many more. The user-friendly booklet encourages guests to be proactive when exploring the exhibition – asking, ‘‘can you find the seven dancing princesses?’’
Other tales within the exhibition include ‘The Friends who Quarrelled’, ‘The Young Princess who Wept for Three Days’, ‘The Map of Europe’ and ‘The Feral Boy who was Kept as a Pet’.
The most striking element of the exhibition would be the low lighting, which creates a dark and tense atmosphere. This gothic influence is consistent throughout the exhibition and each room is designed to alert the different senses. For example, one of the main rooms in the exhibition, The Room of Enlightenment, holds an unsettling atmosphere – hosting a rose petal ceremony each afternoon. Within The Room of Enlightenment, the definite highlight for a lot of visitors would be seeing the stunning Vivienne Westwood ‘rebellious dress’, which was made for George IV’s daughter Princess Charlotte. In this room, her name is written accross the grand staircase below an array of rose petals.
The entire exhibition provides a multi-sensory surreal experience for any guest. At the end of this journey (in the final room), visitors can observe the black and white portraits of each of the princesses along the corridor on their way to leave. A sense of sorrow is to be felt here. Overall, it is a very artistic and historical exhibition that is accessible to all age groups.
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