A major new exhibition at Kensington Palace opening next year will celebrate 200 years since Queen Victoria's birth. Visitors will be able to walk through the rooms of the royal residence where a young Victoria spent her childhood days. Curators at Historical Royal Palaces have used new research to reimagine the rooms that Victoria grew up in to become the longest serving British monarch up until Queen Elizabeth II took over her record in 2015.
Queen Victoria's shoes are part of the rare collection
A carefully planned route through the west London palace's rooms will enlighten guests on Victoria's strictly governed and often isolated upbringing, including an exhibition in the Pigott Gallery which will consider the woman behind the public monarch and re-examine Victoria's legacy. The young soon-to-be queen escaped into a world of storytelling and drawing when she was separated from other children at the instruction of her mother the Duchess of Kent. The rooms will further explore the private princess who had a passion for opera and ballet. Among the collection, fans will find items kept by Victoria's German governess, Baroness Lehzen, including a lock of the long-serving queen’s hair and handwritten letters. Visitors can also glimpse at rare surviving pieces from the 19th century Queen's wardrobe such as a delicate pair of silver boots.
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Polly Putnam, exhibition curator at Historic Royal Palaces, said: "Although considered one of the most famous women in history, Queen Victoria's personality, passions and politics remain little known. To mark the 200th anniversary of her birth at Kensington Palace, in 2019 we’ll be re-examining the life of this fascinating and contradictory monarch, whose cultural legacy and impact on world affairs are still felt to this day." The exhibition and Victoria route will open on May 24 2019 to mark Victoria’s birthday and will be included in the standard ticket price for Kensington Palace.
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