A summer’s afternoon with Elvis and Queen Victoria

One of the most fun afternoons we’ve had in Kensington for ages.   A low key, family event in the wonderful surroundings of Kensington Palace.   A village fete type occasion which could have been happening in any village in Britain.  Instead we had an opened out marquee with Regency and Baroque dancers, together with dancers from the 1950s, jiving and a’ rock’n'rollin to Elvis.  The young and the old got together for a family afternoon of fun and dancing, stories and art.
Inspired by Royal Historic Palaces, local school children held a Fashion Show.  They designed and made outfits for members of royalty who had lived at Kensington Palace over the years.   We had William of Orange, Queens Caroline, Charlotte and Victoria, and Princesses Margaret and Diana (all in finery they would never have imagined).  There was even Peter, the Wild Boy.

The catwalk, 12 ft of it, was not, as Diana Olutunmogun said, a fashion show from Paris, nor even Milan, but from our very own London, Kensington Palace. Young children (some very young) sat on benches and watched in awe as “royalty” – children older themselves sashayed up and down.  ’That’s my brother’ whisphered one very proud little girl, rather loudly.  Grandparents beamed away, parents videod, tweeted or photographed.
Everyone was genuinely encouraged to join in the dancing, from 3 year olds to those approaching 80….   all showing various levels of talent!   Older sisters taught very little ones; professionals swung teens, parents and grandparents about.  The sun shone, families and friends had picnics, a small makeshift table provided teas, coffees, cakes and wines, for those who hadn’t realised this was an entire afternoon’s entertainment.   The most endearing and long lasting memory was of a boy, aged about 7, strumming his skate board very determinedly as though Elvis. Which of course he was. Obviously.
This was Kensington at its best.
images copyright Lucy Elliott