Regardless of anything Meghan Markle says, London wouldn’t be London without Buckingham Palace. The most visited and talked about palace in Europe will soon open its doors - so dive into history, among gold and velvet, ancient traditions and immortal works of art. There are 775 rooms inside the neo-classical building designed by John Nash, 19 of which may actually be visited. They are the prestigious State Rooms, where members of the Royal Family entertain their guests during ceremonies, banquets and official visits. Each is graced with particular characteristics and functions, they are furnished with the greatest treasures of the Crown - precious English and French furniture, Sèvres porcelain, paintings by Canaletto, sculptures by Canova. While the palace is dominated by the tastes of King George IV - responsible for transforming Buckingham House into the Royal Palace - there are stories and memories of successive Sovereigns in every room. The scenographic Grand Staircase welcomes visitors with the portraits of the family of Queen Victoria, while in the stunning Throne Room, scarlet brocades surround the seats in which Elizabeth II and her father George VI were crowned. The Picture Gallery hosts, on a rotating basis, the most important paintings of the Royal Collection - the current selection offers masterpieces by Titian, Rubens, Rembrandt and Van Dyck. Under a beautifully engraved ceiling, the Blue Room has been the setting of receptions and Royal balls before Queen Victoria had the largest State Room built - a lover of music and dance, the Queen watched exhibitions of Felix Mendelssohn and Johann Strauss Jr. in her beloved Ballroom. Today, under the majestic arch, there are Royal banquets and awards ceremonies. At the end of the tour, it is possible to visit the immense garden of Buckingham Palace and watch the famed ceremony of the Changing of the Guards amidst music and traditional choreography.
A Journey in a Painting - William Hodges in Tahiti
It was 1772 when the British artist departed with Captain Cook to explore the Pacific. His paintings showed Europeans far-off lands for the first time, rife with exotic dreamscapes and an unquenchable thirst for knowledge.
At the British Museum, a Journey through the History of the Tantra
From India in the Middle Ages to contemporary feminism, tantric philosophy revolutionised both East and West. But what do we really know about it? A gallery of precious objects reveals its secrets across cultures and time.