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Visitors to Buckingham Palace This Summer Are in for a Treat

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The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee has inspired everyone from artists, schoolchildren, bakers and musicians to come up with new creations to mark the landmark moment. And one particularly incredible work has now made its way inside Buckingham Palace to be seen by the thousands of tourists expected to visit for this year’s summer opening.

The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Lunch is a six-meter-long art installation of a tea party made entirely out of felt. Created by artist Lucy Sparrow, it was first on display at a Platinum Jubilee street party attended by Prince Charles and Camilla during the central weekend of celebrations in June. Featuring a huge array of food and drink including sandwiches, biscuits, sausage rolls, crisps, and cups of tea, it is now in the Palace’s Grand Entrance Portico and is one of the first things that visitors to the Palace will see.

Photo credit: JAMIE LORRIMAN - Getty Images
Photo credit: JAMIE LORRIMAN - Getty Images

Describing her creation as “very relatable and very celebratory,” Lucy explained to T&C that she wanted to make something that represented tea parties ordinary families would enjoy. “It was very important to me that it was almost like a working class tea party,” she said. “Yes you’ve got prawn vol au vents but you’ve also got hula hoops and chocolate fingers. It was meant to be like a tea party that you used to get a kids parties and what would traditionally be put on at a jubilee.”

Photo credit: Kirsty O'Connor - PA Images - Getty Images
Photo credit: Kirsty O'Connor - PA Images - Getty Images

The installation is a joyous introduction to a carefully thought out exhibition which this year showcases jewels from the Queen’s personal collection alongside iconic photographs that they feature in. Platinum Jubilee: The Queen’s Accession centers around 24 portraits taken by photographer Dorothy Wilding at the start of the Queen’s reign presented next to priceless tiaras and other jewels. Famous pieces on display include the Diamond Diadem, which the Queen wore en route to her 1953 Coronation and again as recently as the State Opening of Parliament in 2019. Favorites like the Vladimir Tiara and the Girls of Great Britain and Ireland Tiara are also shown. As is the Nizam of Hyderabad necklace, which was a wedding gift to the Queen and she has previously loaned to the Duchess of Cambridge.

Photo credit: Kirsty O'Connor - PA Images - Getty Images
Photo credit: Kirsty O'Connor - PA Images - Getty Images

“These are the Queen’s personal jewels, she wears them regularly but they’re very rarely displayed in public. So it is a pretty unique opportunity to see them in this setting and to see them alongside the portraits, that’s very special,” said Caroline de Guitaut, Deputy Surveyor of The Queen’s Works of Art and curator of the special display.

Dorothy Wilding was a leading society and portrait photographer both in London and in New York and first photographed the royal family in the 1920s. In May 1937 she became the first female photographer to take official coronation photographs when she was invited to photograph King George VI’s coronation. The image opens the exhibition, along with the dress and coronet that the 11-year-old Princess Elizabeth wore.

Photo credit: Kirsty O'Connor - PA Images - Getty Images
Photo credit: Kirsty O'Connor - PA Images - Getty Images

Platinum Jubilee: The Queen’s Accession is included in a visit to the Summer Opening of the State Rooms at Buckingham Palace starting Friday, July 22 until Sunday, October 2, 2022.

For Visitor information and tickets visit www.rct.uk. Buckingham Palace is open five days a week, Thursday to Monday, remaining closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

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