The Royal Chronicles

Author\’s commentary, Special Features, Outtakes, and Extras from Marilyn\’s Royal Blog

The Queen’s Jewels and Clothing go on display

Posted by Marilyn on February 12, 2006

Yep, it’s true, to commemorate the Queen’s 80th birthday, the Queen’s gowns and jewels are going on display.

I think this is absolutely wonderful. I’ve always wondered what happens to royal gowns after they’re worn. Where are they stored? Who looks after them? Do they have gowns from Queens Mary, Alexandra and Victoria? I would just love to know. For now I’ll settle for the Queen’s gowns.

Unfortunately I’m not going to be able to see them in person. I’m in Canada and I doubt the exhibition will come here. About 6 or 7 years ago an exhibition of Diana’s dresses came to town and seeing them was an amazing experience. I bought a guide and so I have a record of when I went and what I saw, but the guide doesn’t compare to actually viewing the dresses and the workmanship that went into producing them. When I went to Althorp I got to see more of Diana’s clothing, including her wedding dress – which incidently also came to Canada at one point.

Last year the Victoria and Albert museum had an exhibition of the clothing of the late Queen Maud of Norway. Once again, I couldn’t see it but I did buy the book from the exhibition. Not the same but better than nothing.

In 2001 the Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art in New York City had an exhibition of clothing and belongings of Jacqueline Kennedy. Believe it or not, I did go to see it. I must have been completely crazy at the time but I really really wanted to go. So I took a Greyhound bus, 14 hour drive, to New York, and for one day I visited the museum. At 6:00pm on the same day, I boarded a bus back to Toronto, another 14 hours but it was worth it.

I doubt I’ll make it to England for the exhibition. Hopefully the Royal Collection will sell a book so that I can see what I missed!

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