Kensington Palace was opened by Queen Elizabeth in March after a three year renovation project. The exhibition "Victoria Revealed', designed by OPERA, captures the heart breaking story of Queen Victoria.
Her name evokes the image of a dour, black-clad queen who inspired an era. But there was another side to Victoria: a young, romantic woman with an extraordinary destiny, who married her great love, Prince Albert, had nine children and was very happy. That is, until tragedy struck, when Albert suddenly died and her life turned to darkness at the age of 42: "My life as a happy one is ended." Victoria never shed her sorrow but after ten years of deep depression, she resumed her duties and built her immense British Empire. Upon her death in 1901 at the age of 91, she had reigned for 63 years.
OPERA's approach to the design was subtle. Walking through magnificent rooms, visitors pass through the various stages of Victoria's life. An abundance of objects are on display, the majority of which are on public view for the first time: personal documents, love letters, diaries, drawings, garments, jewels, furniture and other possessions from the personal collection of Queen Elizabeth II.
The mood of the spaces varies from light and romantic to dark and somber, each room describing a crucial event in Victoria's life. Visitors are invited to explore Victoria's memories through her journals, letters, sketches and watercolours. OPERA made extensive use of these materials, which enabled them to retell Victoria's life in her own words and make the story of this sensitive and special woman more tangible.