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parrot_knight [userpic]

Easter weekend

April 9th, 2007 (08:05 pm)

When not reviewing Doctor Who this weekend, I was in London with my parents and sister, visiting Linley Sambourne House and then London Zoo on Saturday, and then Kew Gardens and Palace on Sunday. These were not the best days to visit either of the two large attractions - the weather was much brighter than on many Easter weekends and consequently both were thronged. London Zoo in particular was full of people who displayed no respect for the animals, endlessly using flash photography despite the frequent requests not to do so, and, especially at Gorilla Kingdom at London Zoo, trying to provoke the animals. People can be sickening. Kew Gardens fared better, but some of the flowerbeds nearest the paths suffered trampling. A touring children's animal zoo had been brought in for the weekend, as had Giant Rabbit Rescue; the queue to see the rabbits was exceptionally long, but I caught a glimpse of their star, Snowman (who appears on the website) over the serried ranks.

Kew Palace has been successfully restored since I was last there, and one of my pictures has provided the new icon shown. The new display concentrates on informing the public about the lives of Queen Charlotte and King George III and their daughters, with some of the rooms redecorated to resemble the rooms as they appeared; the second floor is left undecorated and with wall panels missing to reveal the way the house - originally built for a merchant in the 1630s - was constructed and then altered. Meanwhile shadows of servants are projected onto walls, and conversation fades in and out. While I think that there were fewer items on display than there were when I last saw the house eleven years ago, those that remained were well-chosen - such as the silver filigree rattle presented to the future George IV by his newly-appointed governess, not long after his birth in 1762 - and the quotations scattered around the house were very telling. On the second floor, where the restored house has been left bare, one notice quotes Princess Sophia in the eighteen-teens writing to her brother George, Prince Regent, that she and her unmarried sisters are 'old cats' and she wonders why George doesn't just ask parliament to legislate for them to be put in a sack and drowned in the Thames.


Posted by: Adilo Creamon (the_marquis)
Posted at: April 9th, 2007 10:07 pm (UTC)

People suck! But the Kew thing was I think mentioned as upcoming in the BBC2 programmes on Royal Palaces last year, when they showed bits of the restoration work there.

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: April 9th, 2007 10:13 pm (UTC)

I missed those programmes, sadly - I am more and more divorced from the television, unfortunately. It's a very successful restoration, and I'm dipping into the book about the house and the other royal residences in the area (most of which are long gone) at the moment.

Kew Palace featured in one of my existing icons already, and here it is.

Posted by: Adilo Creamon (the_marquis)
Posted at: April 9th, 2007 10:16 pm (UTC)

I think we've mentioned it to you in the past as a certain CG appears in it at Hampton Court (and the Tower).

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: April 9th, 2007 10:32 pm (UTC)

Yes, I remember now. The research at Kew Palace has come up with all sorts of things which add on to the work I did for my thesis, and would have to be taken into account when I write my book.

Posted by: ms_rebecca_riot (ms_rebecca_riot)
Posted at: April 10th, 2007 02:10 am (UTC)
Loved the Giant Bunnies

Followed the link, I did. Ahhhhhhh.

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: April 10th, 2007 08:25 am (UTC)
Re: Loved the Giant Bunnies

Glad you followed the link. Yes - they are sweet, aren't they. The two 'on duty' at Kew Gardens were extremely patient with the hordes of children.