Updated: Jan 30
at Kensington Palace
The gardens of Kensington Palace in a wintry autumn day were like heaven on earth. Gardens, lakes and over two hundred years old chestnut trees along the alee that paves the way to the Palace.
The gardens are covering 107 hectares (265 acres). Kensington Gardens, Hyde Park, Green Park, and St. James's Park together form an almost continuous verdant oasis in the heart of London.
I started walking from the Italian Gardens, an ornamental water garden on the north side of park, near Lancaster Gate. The gardens are believed to have been a gift from Prince Albert to his beloved Queen Victoria. This was definitely a fairytale royal love.
The last restoration of The Italian gardens in 2011 marks the final part of Tiffany - Across the Water, a project to restore ornamental and drinking fountains across the eight Royal Parks, supported by a grant of £784,000 from The Tiffany & Co. Foundation.
After I passed the gardens, I walked on a big alee almost feeling in a forest full on chestnut trees where everyone was walking their dogs. Finally, after 10 minutes of walking in the cold air and passing by Peter Pan Statue, I arrived at the small artificial lake in from of the palace called ‘Round Pond’. Swans love to wander around the pond and people to admire them.
The entrance of the Palace had a beautiful alee and the first and my favorite room that I had to visit was ‘The JEWEL Room’.
I think I stayed here for an entire hour I did not want to leave as I was admiring the crown jewels of Queen Victoria.
The room had three grandiose Tiaras in a big window display in the middle of the room. On the walls there were paintings and pictures with quotes of Queen Victoria and family.
Queen's Victoria Emerald Tiara
The most attractive Tiara is the Emerald that dates back to 1845. The tiara comes along with an entire set: neckless, earrings and a brooch. One of the earrings was replaced the rest of the set the entirely original one worn by the Queen.
Prince Albert worked closely with the Queen’s jeweller Joseph Kitching to design a tiara that would complement Victoria emerald and Dimond parure displayed above. This Exclusive piece demonstrates Prince Albert creative flair. The Queen delighted with the gift wrote in her diary
”wonderful taste ”
The diadem was created to complement the necklace formed of nine oval emerald clusters, each set within a border of cushion-shaped diamonds.
The accompanying pendant earrings and an impressive 20ct emerald and diamond brooch,
Emeralds being the considered the birthstone for those born in May were the perfect choice as the Queen’s birthday was 24th May.
For Queen Victoria, jewelry was associated with many emotion and love. As a child, her mother, the Duchess of Kent, had given her a locket containing a lock of her deceased father’s hair affording the little orphan a physical link to the late Duke. Many years later engaged with Prince Albert she put his hair in a mounted glass, heart-shaped pendant which she would wear almost constantly for the rest of her life. As we can noticed here, she was wearing the heart shaped neckless next to the emerald neckless even thought it could be considered to much or impossible to combine Victoria with her sense of style and impeccable elegancy could even mix together the emerald set with her protected every day piece.
Next to her first heart locket here we can see her first rings as a child.
Princess Louise’s Diamond Tiara 1890
This tiara was a wedding gift to Queen Victoria’s grandmother princess Louise from her parents Prince and Princes of Wales. The design was inspired by traditional Russian costume. The bound between Russian empire and the British one was symbolized in the creation of this tiara as it embodies both traditions. This style became very popular in the 19 th century.
The classic Fringe can be worn as a Tiara or a neckless as we can see in the picture and the Illustrated London news describes this tiara as being composed by “fine brilliants of elegant design of alternating and graduating rays varying from nearly two inches in the center to half of inch at the extreme ends”
Only a few weeks before I arrived at Kensington Palace and discovered this beauty, the Tiara left it’s station in the museum and went to be worn to a real contemporary royalty wedding. I was trilled by the story that the charismatic security woman told me and so lucky to be able to see it even though I didn't find out where was the secret wedding.
The Grand Fife Tiara
The tiara was permanently allocated to Historic Royal Palaces, and is a part of the newly revamped "Victoria Revealed" exhibition.
A very unique and beautiful design, with hundreds of diamonds combined, with a weight staring from 1 to 10 ct. The briolette cut diamonds being an elongated faceted pear shaped are usually hanging but in this case are pivoted to the tiara’s base to shine from each angle.
Victoria was not wearing her crown most of times she was choosing only her tiaras when she appeared in public with her husband. As a 19th century woman she wanted to be a loving wife and a great Queen. The choice of Tiara reflected her status but ensured that she was not overtly superior to her husband.
Prince Albert played an active role in both shaping the state jewels as well Victoria's personal jewellery.
Moving forward from the jewel room you enter in Victoria’s bedroom, her little bassinet in the middle of the room and a spectacular view on the Victorian windows. In the next room you can find her travelling bed, her doll house and her beautiful drawings. You can also admire the stairs where young Victoria met the love of her life, Prince Albert and their two portraits are to be seen here as you exit the Palace.
Victoria’s “blonde lace dress”1831-32
This is Victoria’s earliest surviving dress worn when she was 12 .The duchess spent always generosity on Victoria’s clothes which were fashionably simple but on high quality.
“Everybody grows but me “ Victoria wrote in her diary.
Victoria’s appearance was a topic of gossip , the princess was always insecure about her height. At just over five feet tall she was was very short and she was terribly teased about this.
Victoria lived in Kensington Palace until she became queen at 18 years old , all the rooms capture the spirit of her childhood and everything was redecorated in the style of the time using record of original furniture, carpets and wallpapers, which no longer survive.
Princess Diana lived at Kensington Palace and she moved into Apartments 8 and 9 after marrying Prince Charles at age 20, and joined forces with renowned interior designer Dudley Poplak to turn three floors of the Palace into a home that reflected her personal style.
Now, the walls of the Palace are decorated with pictures of her fashionable gowns and dresses as being considered one of the most elegant and sophisticated woman of those times.