Victoria here. If I hadn’t already known that Buckingham Palace was exhibiting a collection about Royal Childhood, I would have been rather shocked to see a Rocking Horse in the Green Drawing Room leading into the Throne Room.
But there it was, just as it looked when Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret Rose sat upon it decades ago.
In fact, all through the palace were a few toys and dolls upon the sofas and tables in the stately gilded rooms, and looking not at all out of place for a house that is often home to several generations of children. The Exhibition closed in September 2014, but you can read more about it here.
One of the oldest displays, a handwriting practice book of George IV, 1767
The Buckingham Palace Ballroom fitted out as an exhibition hall
In addition to dolls and toys in various rooms of the Palace, a large exhibition was mounted in the Ballroom with many display cases for clothing, toys, and memorabilia.
Childhood clothing over centuries
Worn by George V in 1868
Visitors enjoying the exhibition
Cradle of Princess Alice, 1843
Queen Elizabeth II’s Dolls
Enhancing the objects were many photos and films of the Royal children,In an exhibition review in the Telegraph, July 28, 2014, Richard Dorment wrote, “It goes without saying that, from a material point of view, royal children have everything any child could want and more. But none of that means anything without a family life based on parental love and the affection of siblings. What knits the show together and gives everything we’ve seen the context it needs to bring it to life is the selection of deeply private home movies on view in the ball room. Particularly touching are the grainy films showing the touching relationship between the Queen and her sister Princess Margaret, seen practicing dance steps or playing with their corgis under the amused and clearly doting gaze of their parents.”
Princess Elizabeth and her Doll-Buggy
Royal Collection Curator Anna Reynolds with a rocking horse
sent by President and Mrs. Obama to Prince William of Cambridge
A Tea Set played with by Princess Elizabeth in the 1930’s
George, Prince of wales, and Frederick, later Duke of York, at Buckingham House, 1765
by Johan Zoffany(1733-1810)
To end our account of the Royal Childhood Exhibition, we go back to the beginning. to show this portrait of the earliest days of Buckingham House as a royal home. The first two offspring of George III and Queen Charlotte were not yet “breeched” in this painting. George would have been almost three and Frederick almost two years of age.