Apparently I am now the Queen of the North. All bow before me!
Sometimes I think that I must have the most brilliant job in all the world – especially after something like last night’s wonderful party in the sumptuous surroundings of the king’s state apartments at Kensington Palace.
I asked my friend Miranda to come with me as she is amazingly good fun and I thought that out of all my chums, she was one of the ones who would most enjoy the opportunity to get all dressed up and get somewhat drunk in a palace!
As many of you will know, Kensington Palace has been transformed this Christmas into the Game of Crowns to reflect the winter season of 1699 when King William III opened up the palace and invited people to come along for all manner of frolicking and fun. In this spirit, the apartments have had various games installed so that visitors can aspire to winning a crown for themselves. It’s great fun and we had a great time trying out some of the activities for ourselves – with a particular favourite being the brilliant throne at the start with clever boards that you can arrange to create your own title, which is then proclaimed for all to hear.
You can imagine how excited we were as we went up the beautiful King’s Staircase with its wonderful paintings of personages from the Hanoverian court to the apartments upstairs where the party was in full swing. There was warm apple juice with brandy waiting for us in the King’s Drawing Room, which was followed by LOTS of lovely prosecco and also some very nice canapés.
Miranda and I had such a blast wandering around the apartments, just enjoying the beauty that surrounded us – in particular the gorgeously stately Copula Room, which is apparently the most splendidly decorated room in the whole palace. We had a most excellent gossip in here while handsome young men occasionally sauntered past and filled our glasses up again.
We also escaped to the crimson brocade hung King’s Gallery, which is dominated at one end by a copy of Van Dyck’s splendid portrait of Charles I mounted on his horse. Here we hid in one of the window seats like Elizabeth Bennet and Charlotte Lucas at the Netherfield Ball and had a most excellent chat about Game of Thrones.
Gosh, it was such a wonderful evening – it’s always such a treat to be allowed into somewhere so beautiful and special ‘after hours’, especially as such places, amazing though they are, are so much more MAGICAL at night when all is darkness outside and the brocade walls, gilt embellishment and crystal chandeliers glitter softly in the light. It’s impossible not to feel like a bit of a princess yourself when you swish into a palace when it’s closed to the public then get to saunter about inside enjoying lovely drinks and great company. It was the perfect start to the festive season – I was feeling a bit bah bloody humbug before but now I am all BRING ON THE YULETIDE FUN.
This has been such a crazy year – so far I’ve had breakfast in the Queen’s Gallery of Buckingham Palace, spent the night at Hampton Court, got a bit tipsy in the Tower of London and now spent a most amazing evening in Kensington Palace. It’s been a blast.
Thank you SO much to the press team at Historic Royal Palaces for inviting me along and being such great hosts and also for all the ace things they’ve let me tag along to over the last couple of years.
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