An exhibition featuring well-loved toys, treasured family gifts and tiny outfits belonging to nine generations of royal children opens at Buckingham Palace on Saturday, 26 July 2014 at the annual Summer Opening of the State Rooms.
Royal Childhood brings together more than 150 objects relating to 25 children, from the future George IV to Prince George of Cambridge. Set against a backdrop of previously unseen photographs and private film footage, it gives an unprecedented glimpse into life as a young member of the royal family over 250 years.
Among the objects on display is the announcement of the birth of Prince George of Cambridge at 4.24pm on 22 July 2013, which was displayed on what must now be the world’s most famous easel – it even had its own Twitter handle.
The spectacular silver-gilt Lily Font, commissioned by Queen Victoria for the christening of her first daughter Princess Victoria in 1841 and used at almost all major royal baptisms since, is on display in the Music Room, alongside the silk-satin and lace christening robe worn by Prince George of Cambridge.
Curator Anna Reynolds adds the finishing touches to a model Aston Martin DB5 once used by Prince Andrew during a photo call for the Royal Childhood exhibition.
The progress book of Princess Elizabeth, the future Queen, documents the Princess's first outing at just 10 days old into the garden of her home at 17 Bruton Street, her first tooth (26 January 1927), and the moment she began to crawl (11 April 1927).
Miniature outfits worn by royal children are also on display, including a dress belonging to Queen Victoria at the age of 11, the 'walking suits’ of King George V, a beautiful satin coat and hat worn by Princess Margaret, and a soldier dressing gown belonging to the three-year-old Prince Harry of Wales. A glittering fairy costume worn by Princess Anne reflects a common childhood love of dressing up.