Victoria Revealed, a new permanent exhibition, will explore the life and reign of one of the palace’s most famous residents - Queen Victoria - in her own words. Inspired by extracts from the Queen’s own journals and correspondence, and featuring displays of personal objects and artworks in the very rooms where she once lived, the exhibition will present a truly intimate account of Victoria’s extraordinary life.
Important paintings, sculpture, jewellery, clothing and many other historic objects will be combined with audiovisual displays and low-tech interactives to evoke key moments and themes in Queen Victoria’s life. The fascinating history of Britain’s longest reigning monarch will be illuminated through these carefully selected exhibits – ranging from her tiny black silk baby shoes, a collection of her toys, her wedding dress (displayed for the first time in a decade), mourning clothing worn following the death of Prince Albert in 1861, and archive footage of her Diamond Jubilee celebrations.
The exhibition will examine key events in the Queen’s extraordinary life, such as her first day as Queen at Kensington Palace. Visitors will be able to visit the Red Saloon where Victoria held her first ever Privy Council, view the dress she wore on that momentous occasion, and the first document she approved as the new reigning monarch, signed Victoria R.
The exhibition will also explore Queen Victoria’s engagement and wedding to Prince Albert, their early family life, her official role, the Great Exhibition, mourning Prince Albert’s death and the Diamond Jubilee celebrations in 1897. Amongst the exhibits will be music Albert composed for Victoria during their engagement, sketches they made of one another in the first year of their marriage, and jewellery that he personally designed for her.
Victoria and Albert’s family life will be represented through a number of poignant exhibits including sculpture representing several of their nine children, tiny red velvet baby boots trimmed with sumptuous fur and embroidered with the Prince of Wales’ feathers (worn by their eldest son Albert Edward or Bertie, later Edward VII), a selection of toys, an intricately carved cradle specially commissioned for Princess Louise, and even a teething ring from the royal nursery.
Victoria’s devastation following Prince Albert’s untimely death is portrayed through a display of mourning clothing, jewellery and accessories worn by the Queen after his demise, such as a bracelet containing commemorative charms and locks of hair, a handkerchief embroidered in black, and a black lace parasol.
Finally, Queen Victoria’s triumphant Diamond Jubilee celebrations in 1897 will be brought to life with archive film footage, an animated interpretation of the Queen’s procession through the crowded streets of London and a modern reproduction of an original diamond jubilee bunting.
Kensington PalaceKensington Gardens London
London Greater London United Kingdom
10:00 - 18:00