Princess Di and the Elgin Marbles
What do these two have in common? One word. Legacy. Betcha you were thinking the C word – controversial. I did think about that word but to do so would diminish what they represent to the world.
Whatever people may say about the late Princess Diana, there is no doubt she touched many people’s lives in one form or other. Controversies and conspiracies continue to abound which is I suppose the reason why the Diana exhibition at the Kensington Palace focused on her fashion choices and growth.
Aside from the Princess Diana fashion exhibition, the palace displayed other monarch’s lives. I was very moved by the depth of love and affection certain monarchs had for their other half, notably Queen Victoria for Prince Albert and one of the King Georges for his wife. It showed that in times when arranged marriages and alliances were considered important, kings and queens were still fortunate to experience love.
From Kensington Palace, we snapped photos of the flower garden. It wasn’t huge and the flowers weren’t in full bloom but it was still photo worthy.
Feeling peckish, we explored the decidedly ethnically diverse Queen’s Way and went for Manoush, a Persian restaurant. The staff were very friendly to the point where he gave us a small container of Persian tea when H remarkef on how good the tea was. No, it was not added on the bill. The food was packed with spices and fairly bursting with flavor. I think we could’ve shared one main owing to the massive portions. To top it off, the prices were reasonable.
Fortified by the food, we were ready to conquer the British Museum. We got off Holborn station despite what Google suggested. We saw a gate where a staff was holding back people and a sign that says entrance next gate. We walked to the gate which was a few steps away but it was closed. People were looking around not knowing where to go so I called out to the staff inside and asked where the entrance was. Turned out we were at one of the entrances. We just needed to wait for 2 minutes. There! All I needed to do was ask. H tapped me on the shoulder. Behind us, having heard my conversation with the staff, the queue grew almost instantly. Entrance was free.
H was intrigued by the money and coin exhibit while I wanted to see the controversial Elgin marbles, the marble sculptures Lord Elgin took from the Parthenon. Some say, he took them with permission, some say he stole them. According to the Greek driver we spoke to who showed us historical books, he claimed that Lord Elgin was given permission to take the marbles that had already fallen on the ground, not the ones that were still attached to the buildings. Eventually, the marbles were sold to the British government and donated to the British museum.
H went in search of writing or script exhibits and found the Rosetta Stone display! I tried to take photos but the glass reflected too much.
From there, we rode on the double decker bus back to the apartment and managed to get seats on the upper deck. It was an early night for us because we had to go to Stonehenge and Bath the next day.