Saturday, July 5, 2014

The Royal Pavilion: Pleasure Palace

Today we decided to visit Brighton's most photographed and probably most well known landmark. While we were happy to get a local resident discount on our tickets, we were disappointed that we were not allowed to take photos inside because everything was gorgeous.

The Palace, as it stands now, was built for George IV, to be his escape from royal life and his father whom he hated. It's a magnificently ostentatious building, full of architectural illusions and opulent Chinese-inspired decor. While everything inside adheres to the Chinese theme, the outside of the building is actually roughly in the Mughal Indian style. George built the palace to host lavish parties and entertain his string of friends and mistresses.

One thing that the two of us found particularly funny was that George IV had to move from his upstairs bedrooms into a new suite downstairs because he was too overweight to walk up the stairs. He also bought a bed that could be moved up and down for ease of access. In addition, he built a tunnel to his stables so he wouldn't have to walk outside as he was embarrassed of his weight and unpopular with his subjects.

Several other royals took up residence in the Pavilion until Queen Victoria sold it to the city (she disliked Brighton because it was crowded and unsophisticated at the time and the palace was clearly not built for a family to live in). Even now, many of the objects that were originally in the Pavilion are at Buckingham Palace.

As the centennial of the beginning of World War I is coming up in August, the Pavilion has an exhibit commemorating its use during the war as a hospital for Indian soldiers. We were pleasantly surprised to discover that they carefully made arrangements for the different religions and social customs of the men who were housed there.

Nicole became Lucius Malfoy.

About halfway through the tour, there is a cute tea room with an outside terrace where we took a break and had some yummies.

Nicole had Cream Tea!

Stefanie had a roasted veggie and goat cheese sandwich!

There was a wedding going on at the Royal Pavilion
and this was their adorable post-wedding car!
After leaving the Royal Pavilion, we went and walked around Churchill Square, our favorite place in Brighton. While we went in several shops, we restrained ourselves and only purchased groceries and the book Nicole needed for her upcoming presentation. We came back to campus for an early night because we have to be up early tomorrow for our trip to Bath and Stonehenge.

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