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The Georgians are set to take over Buckingham Palace again

While Buckingham Palace has been making changes with a new reign underway, some old royals are moving back into the palace. 

The family who originally bought the then-Buckingham House is returning again. A new Royal Collection Trust exhibition focused on the Georgians will open in the spring at The Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace. 

“Style & Society: Dressing the Georgians” opens at The Queen’s Gallery on 21 April. The exhibition explores fashion in the eighteenth century, and the birth of stylists and influencers as we now know them. Over 200 different pieces from the Royal Collection will be on display, in addition to several different surviving garments. 

(c) Fashion Museum Bath

Queen Charlotte, the wife of King George III, has come into the public eye again with a starring role in the hit Netflix show, Bridgerton. The real-life Queen Charlotte presided over court throughout her husband’s reign, with her fashion choices dictating court garments for several decades. 

A full-length, Thomas Gainsborough portrait of the Queen from the early 1780s will be on display in the exhibition, along with a surviving court gown from the 1760s (loaned by the Fashion Museum). Although the portrait is rarely on display, it has long been celebrated as one of the best portraits of Charlotte. When it was originally displayed in 1781 at the Royal Academy, it was said that it was “the only happy likeness we ever saw pourtrayed of her Majesty”. 

Several of the Queen’s private items will be on display, including a diamond ring that hides a portrait of King George III, her prayer book, and jewel-encrusted snuffboxes. 

Royal Collection Trust

The exhibition does not only focus on the Georgian royals, though. Visitors can see a portrait of King Louis XV’s mistress, Madame de Pompadour, as well as one of the poet Lord Byron. 

Anna Reynolds, the curator of “Style & Society”, shares: 

During this period, we start to see court dress lagging behind street style, with people from across a much broader social spectrum than ever before setting fashion trends… Showing paintings alongside surviving items of dress really adds an extra layer of insight, helping us to understand how clothing was constructed, what it felt like to wear, and how artists approached the challenge of representing Georgian fashion in paint.

The exhibition runs from 21 April to 8 October at The Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace.

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