London’s National Portrait Gallery
One place I went this year in London that I really enjoyed was the National Portrait Gallery. I highly recommend it to anyone visiting London with an eye on history and especially British Royalty. For starters – it, like many museums and galleries in London, is FREE. Plenty of people there to check it out, but not nearly the crush of the British Museum.
There are many many galleries of portraits, and if looking at old paintings of dead white people isn’t your thing then this may not pique your interest particularly. However, if you grew up learning about Elizabeth the first, Queen Victoria, Oliver Cromwell or William Shakespeare, it’s great to be able to get close and see what they actually looked like.
The place is organised into sections according to eras, so there’s the Victorian era with many paintings of the Crown Sax Coburg herself, Queen Vic, but I think I started in the most interesting area personally, and that’s the Tudors.
We are talking King Henry the Eighth and Elizabeth the first. There are also portraits of some of Henery the Eighth’s wives, including of course Anne Boleyn. Wait a second, did I say ‘Henery’?
Then there were people like Oscar Wilde, and then we got more modern. I actually regret not taking more photos now – but at the time I felt guilty for taking any! Even though there were no restrictions.
Pretty much the last portrait I passed was that of Princess Kate Middleton. Probably one of the most popular at a guess. I really enjoyed it, I spent an hour or just over in there, and I could have easily spent more but from memory I had a show to get to. There are plenty of things like postcards to buy as well in the two shops they have there. I bought a couple for my diary!