Day 4, Kensington Palace and Hyde Park:
We tried to keep this day kinda quiet as we had the Bon Jovi show later that night. We spent the day at Kensington Palace, just on the other side of Hyde Park from the show.
In an attempt to take the focus off of Princess Diana (it was her primary residence) and back to the palace’s many other historical residents, they created this wonderful attraction called The Enchanted Palace. Using 7 real princesses, they wove their stories into a fairy tale with clues scattered throughout, special lighting and music, live characters, with actual gowns from Diana and Princess Margaret. It was delightfully fun yet it made seeing the palace difficult. One room had most of the lights turned very low but when I asked one of the staff about the room, they were happy to turn up the lights.
Jacki and I fell all over ourselves at one of Princess Margaret’s gowns. I need to search for it, I’m sure there is a photo of her in it somewhere. And while no one would confirm or deny it, there was a tiara in the case with the gown that I think may have been the real deal. The velvet band on the tiara was old and very worn. And looking at it made my pulse race. You know me and diamonds, I’m thinking it was real. I really wish they would have allowed photos. I would have loved to have had that dress reproduced. It was just so, so, so, beautiful.
I did get to be Queen in the throne room. I sat on the throne and was asked by the courtiers what my proclamation was. I demanded that Jon Bon Jovi present himself to me immediately. They looked at each other and said “I don’t know who this Jon Bon Jovi is but he must be a courtier of import so we must find him.” They then went around the palace calling for him and demanding he present himself before the Queen. It was really funny. I would have fallen off my throne had he actually walked in the room. Of course I couldn’t be that lucky.
The gardens of the palace were very beautiful.
After the palace, Jacki and I set off on a trek across Hyde Park. Our goal was to find, and walk, Rotten Row. Rotten row started off as a section of the park where casual horse races and riding would be done by The Ton. It received its name from the smell left behind by the horses. Rotten Row still exists and is still used for the same purpose though I didn’t notice any smells worth commenting about. Please don’t ask me why we didn’t take a pic at Rotten Row. Oh well, I guess we need to go back and do it again.
Along the way, we saw many memorials, including Princess Diana’s fountain. It’s a beautiful fountain, fashioned like a ribbon of water. Some areas it meanders calmly into standing pools, other areas it flows rapidly over obsticles. It is meant to signify her life. It’s never more an 18′ deep (if even that much) and on this particular hot summer day, it was filled with the screams and laughter of children playing in the water. I can’t think of a more appropriate tribute to her.
We met up with our Bon Jovi friends from Philadelphia for dinner and drinks at a great bar in Soho and then headed to the concert. The concert review will be its own post so keep a look out for it!
After the show we met up with our Philly friends again. Dave (who had been regulated to the bored husbands section of the crowd and wasn’t up front with us for the show) got tired of waiting for a cab so we found a couple of bicycle rickshaws and the midnight race through Mayfair to Covent Garden was on. Ya’ know, there are some experiences that just don’t lend themselves to words and this is one of them. It was insane, it was crazy, it was one of those things 20 years from now you’ll say “remember racing through Mayfair?” and break out into giggles.
We ended up at a full-out Nightclub. This was a bit of an accident. Our friends had been there for lunch when it appeared to be a nice restaurant and bar. They thought it would be a great place to sit, have a few drinks and come down from the show. By the time we arrived, it was in club mode. It was interesting watching the antics of the local young engage in mating rituals. I won’t say I enjoyed it, it wasn’t a place I felt comfortable, but Jacki was having a great time so I just nursed my dirty martini and people watched.
Next up? The Bon Jovi Concert Review…. BTW, you know he’s not dead, right?