A new exhibition at Buckingham Palace, inspired by the arrival of Prince George, will give a glimpse inside the toy boxes of generations of royal children when it opens its doors this summer.
Toys owned by the Queen, including treasured rocking horses and dolls dressed in haute couture will be on display in the Royal Childhood exhibition, alongside a pink rabbit tea-set and a set of ‘Knockemdown Ninepins’ used by young princess ‘Lilibet’ and her little sister Margaret.
The extraordinary collection includes by inexpensive toys favoured by the future Queen, alongside items more indicative of her royal status. Her extravagant miniature thatched Wendy House, which was give to the six-year-old princess in 1932 by the people of Wales, features running water and electricity, and is still used by the younger royals today.
Royal Childhood promise to tell the story of life as a young member of the royal family, spanning 250 years, from the purchase of Buckingham Place by George III in 1761 to the birth of William and Kate‘s son in 2013.
Included in the display is the silk satin and lace christening gown worn by George at his baptism in Chapel Royal, St James’s Palace in October.
The spectacular silver-gilt Lily Font, which was commissioned by Queen Victoria in 1841 and has been used at almost all royal baptisms, including Prince George’s, is also featured in the exhibition.
Other highlights include the sailor-suit pageboy outfit worn by Prince William at Prince Andrew’s 1986 wedding to Sarah Ferguson, and a tiny pair of velvet shoes belonging to Victoria’s elder son Prince Albert Edward, inscribed on the sole.
The collection of toys features dolls made by the young Victoria inspired by characters she had seen at the ballet and theatre, jigsaws and train sets.
The Royal Childhood exhibition will run from 26 July to 28 September during the summer opening of Buckingham Palace’s state rooms.