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Kensington Palace and The Kensington Magazine co-host an ‘Historic’ Meet your Neighbour event

Within a couple of hours of the October edition of the magazine coming out all fifty places for this special occasion had been allocated.  A chance for local residents to meet each other in the splendid surroundings of Kensington Palace, experience a speedy history lesson on the inhabitants of the Palace over the years, and then take a private tour learning not only historical facts and figures, but equally fascinating historical anecdotes. This exclusive tour comprised The King’s State Apartments.

Residents were spellbound by the historic beauty and fascinating facts of each chamber. Upon entering the lavish room in which Queen Victoria was baptised, we learnt how the Duke of Kent struggled to name her before settling on the anglicised version of her mother’s, Victoire.  We also visited the room in which King George II was found dead by his ‘Gentleman of the Stool’ – an apparently highly regarded position at the time (think Horrible Histories’!)

There was something quite wonderful looking onto Kensington Gardens, past Queen Victoria’s Statue out onto the Round Pond. The night was beautifully clear and Autumnal and the grounds looked suitably regal.  For fifty residents this was a real occasion and a true treat. Credit must go to Gemma and David who between them could certainly apply for Mastermind in their specialist subject. Speed History!

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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.
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images copyright Lucy Elliott