Buckingham Palace – Queen Victoria’s Palace Exhibition

Buckingham Palace, Queen Victoria's Palace, Royal, London, London Landmark

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To mark the 200th anniversary of the birth of Queen Victoria, Buckingham Palace is hosting a special exhibition this summer, Queen Victoria’s Palace, which wanders through the magnificent royal home telling the story of how the young monarch, she ascended to the throne aged just 18, turned the residence into focal point of the royal family.

If you have never been to Buckingham Palace before, it really is the jewel of the London tourist sights, it offers so much, grandeur, luxurious interior inspiration, incredible artwork, and history, as well as a glimpse into one of the homes of the Queen. I promise you will get chills when you walk up the Grand Staircase.

Queen Victoria, Royal Dress, Royal Gown

Open until September 29, Queen Victoria’s Palace exhibition takes over the State rooms at Buckingham Palace sharing how the Queen transformed the then empty royal residence with her love of entertaining, during her reign with Prince Albert she hosted three magnificent costume balls, one of which The Stuart Ball is highlighted with her restored costume, designed by the artist Eugène Louis Lami.

The incredible gown from 1851, designed in the style of Charles II’s court, features a bodice decorated with seed pearls, while the lace around the shoulders has been copied from 17th century Venetian raised point needle lace, and the full skirt of grey moiré has been trimmed with gold lace and an underskirt of gold and silver brocade.

Queen Victoria’s ballgown a highlight of Buckingham Palace exhibition

Simply beautiful and it makes you realise the work that went into these magnificent, over-the-top balls that were hosted, which was perfectly showcased with a digital projection around the grand Ballroom, including how the original ceiling would have looked with exotic birds and gold stars against a rich blue background.

The most spectacular display, other than the rich, ornate beauty of the building, has to be the recreation of the opening waltz by four couples from the Victorian Ball of 1856, painted by Louis Haghe, using a Victorian illusion technique known as Pepper’s Ghost performed to Italian composer Giuseppe Verdi’s La Traviata – it was mesmerising to watch and wonderful to imagine the Ballroom and atmosphere as Queen Victoria would have known it.

Summer Opening of Buckingham Palace to Celebrate Queen Victoria

Buckingham Palace, Queen Victoria's Palace, Royal, London, London Landmark

As well as the grandeur of the ball, the exhibition recreates the ‘Victoria’ dessert service which the queen herself bought from the stand of Minton & Co at the famous 1851 Grand Exhibition in Hyde Park, as well as a look at the extravagant puddings she would have served – this room also has an amazing view of the gardens and so many beautiful chandeliers.

You then continue wandering through the Palace through more opulent State Rooms, each with magnificent decor, incredible chandeliers and artworks, and then you come to the Music Room, where you can read stories about how Victoria and Albert played music and sang together.

Also on display in the palace’s State Rooms is the embroidered robe that a 19-year-old Victoria wore on her Coronation in 1838, as well as her personal insignia, the Star and Collar of the Order of the Bath, and the incredible portrait of the young queen painted by Thomas Sully soon after she moved into Buckingham Palace. To be honest, all the artwork isn’t to be missed.

Once you’ve finished taking in all the beauty of the palace and buffed up on your history, trust me and stop for a cake and hot chocolate at the cafe, and then slowly wander to the exit through the beautiful gardens.

Buckingham Palace, Queen Victoria's Palace, Royal, London, London Landmark
Buckingham Palace, Queen Victoria's Palace, Royal, London, London Landmark
Queen Victoria and Prince Albert at the Plantagenet Ball, 12 May 1842
Buckingham Palace, Royal, London, London Landmark, Buckingham Palace Gardens

Queen Victoria’s Palace exhibition is part of a visit to the Summer Opening of the State Rooms at Buckingham Palace until September 29.