Saturday, April 13, 2013

First Day in London

We have safely arrived and have been enjoying our first day in the beautiful city of London! The city is bustling with locals and travelers alike with the chill of the air increasing your steps down the cobblestone streets. A trip to this great place wouldn't be complete without visiting the former home of one its most iconic residents -- the late Princess Diana. Kensington Palace served as Diana's home from the mid 80s until her death in 1997. Before Diana, Kensington was home to Princess Margaret for 40 years and the great Queen Victoria -- Britain's longest reigning monarch. The Golden Gates pictured below are symbolic of Diana's death as upon news of her passing, visitors covered the gates with flowers in tribute.

Inside you'll find a corridor covered in wallpaper depicting scenes of Diana's life. How colorful and unique! Many of the scenes you are sure to recognize if you are a royal follower!

Of course, we can't mention the palace without mentioning her iconic dresses! For charity, a young Prince William convinced his mother to auction off 80 of her dresses. Kensington Palace purchased 18 to house in an exhibition while the others were purchased and auctioned throughout the years by wealthy collectors and fans. Remember her "John Travolta dress?" It recently sold for $250,000 to a wealthy businessman who wanted to cheer up his sad wife.  Americans just buy chocolate when sad. Her Elvis inspired beaded gown? Sold for $150,000. Unfortunately, her dresses weren't on exhibit! They will reopen in July! But we did get to enjoy touring the King and Queen's State Rooms with their grand ceilings of gold and walls of tapestry. Not to mention the 18 highchairs commemorating the births of Queen Anne's children. Quite fascinating!

It's dinner and drinks this evening and maybe a little dancing. After all, we've already danced down the aisles of the plane on the way over. Cheers!

~Laura Ashley Lamm