Buckingham Palace, London

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Sixteen-year-old Adi Kesaia reviews the mesmerising Palace, which displays the gifts given to the monarchy over time, suitable for older children and young adults.

The first thing that hits you at this exhibition is the tradition and prestige of the Palace, but also the security. It’s a historic monument, so to be able to walk through it, is quite surreal.

At the very start, you’re given a small audio and video device allowing you to learn more about the rooms and the items you pass. I found this addition to the exhibition very useful as it meant you could go at your own pace and find out things you’d otherwise miss.

For instance, in one of the rooms used for formal meetings, the mirror on the left to the fireplace actually swings back allowing members of the royal family to come and go! There was the option to use the small tablet and the children’s version had games on.

You’re guided through the rooms and told what they are used for and the monarchs that have used them. Each room is different, from the Ballroom to the Gallery, with objects dotted around them, keeping all ages interested.

The Gallery gave you an insight into the personal preference of each monarch. So whilst monarchs during the Protestant period of England would’ve curated minimalist and rather plain paintings, a monarch like Queen Victoria commissioned huge glamorous paintings of her coronation to ensure guests were instantly struck by her splendour, which is exciting for all to observe.

Although the architecture of the rooms was intricate and the stories of their uses as equally interesting, my favourite part was looking at the gifts the Queen has received over the years.  

A lot of the gifts represent the cultures of and craftsmanship of where they originated. Many of them were ornate pieces crafted out of precious metals but every so often something more abstract and rudimental would crop up, and I appreciated these a lot more.

An example of this was within the Oceania section, which, in comparison to other sections, wasn’t as expensive looking. One of the gifts was a whale’s tooth drilled so a thick piece of rope could hang around it like a necklace, which originated from Fiji, where I’m from.

There was a definite sense of pride from seeing an aspect of my own cultural heritage.

I think visitors of different nationalities and ages may also find it interesting- the fact that you’re seeing something from somewhere else put on a pedestal and showcased because its value is properly understood.

Young children may find looking through the Queen’s collection fascinating, with its vivid imagery and varied sizes- especially if they have a piqued interest in certain areas of the world.  

Young adults can listen to facts unique to certain gifts, such as who gave it to the Queen and under what circumstances, through their audio devices.

I would definitely recommend the exhibition to children aged around twelve, and young adults. The luxury of the Palace is great to look at but the lack of interaction and high security makes it an exhibition suitable for slightly older children.

 

Buckingham Palace – Entrance via Buckingham Palace Road

Prices: Adult £23.00, Over 60/ Student (with valid ID) £21.00, Under 17/ Disabled £13.00, Under 5 Free, Family £59.00 (2 Adults and 3 under 17s)

 

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