Lauren Laverne launches Museums at Night at the Enchanted Palace

There are a few sore throats (from lots of talking) and sore feet (from our immensely glamorous shoes) at Culture24 Towers today … for last night our campaign ambassador, the fabulous Lauren Laverne, launched this year’s campaign at Kensington Palace! You can read Culture24′s official story, with excerpts from Lauren’s speech, here.

But this is our story I’m telling here. We travelled up from Brighton to London in the afternoon, and as we were pulling in to Victoria saw a fantastic good omen a couple of tracks away – a steam train!

Three excited people in a train carriage

Nick, Anra and Jane on the train

Arriving at the Palace, our advance party had the chance to explore the Enchanted Palace exhibition: the idea is that you go on a quest to find out stories from the lives of seven princesses who once lived at Kensington. You’re encouraged to investigate the artworks, installations and designer dresses, ask questions of the explainers and interact with performers from WILDWORKS Theatre Company – a really innovative and unexpected experience.

A woman seated upon a knitted throne playing with her mobile phone

Culture24 director Jane Finnis in her natural habitat: seated upon a magnificent knitted throne

Of course, I’m sure you’ll want to see our fabulous frocks: here are the Culture24 crew posing outside the Orangery before the evening kicked off. Don’t we look lovely?

A photo of a line of people in a formal garden

The Culture24 team - we do scrub up nicely

From left to right: writer Ben Miller; writer Laura Burgess; activities editor Conrad Westmaas; network and marketing coordinator Ruth Harper; PR coordinator Pandora George; chair of Culture24′s Board of Trustees John Newbigin; head of programmes Anra Kennedy; editor Richard Moss; finance coordinator Tessa Watson; director Jane Finnis; Museums at Night project manager Nick Stockman; Museums at Night project coordinator Rosie Clarke; arts writer Mark Sheerin; technical producer Larna Pantrey-Mayer; Museums at Night intern Signe Troost. Phew!

A photo of a woman in a gold jacket on a podium

Lauren Laverne speaks at the Museums at Night launch

And now, the question everybody’s been asking us: what was it like meeting Lauren Laverne in real life? Well, she was ravishingly gorgeous in a golden jacket and vertiginous high heels, yet very down-to-earth. Within minutes of stepping through the door she complimented me on my dress and Larna on her hair, before floating upstairs in a golden aura of charisma and loveliness. We are all slightly smitten. She gave an enthusiastic speech explaining why she supports the campaign, then chatted with guests from the arts and heritage world, and happily posed for photos among the exhibitions.

A photos of a woman in a bedroom with enormous puppets

Lauren Laverne in Queen Victoria's bedroom - the Room of Imaginary Friends

Thanks to photographer Charlotte Macpherson for taking photos on the night, and to everyone from Blue Strawberry Catering for the drinks and canapes. We’re also incredibly grateful to Tim Powell, Charlotte Winship and the entire efficient, good-humoured team at Historic Royal Palaces for all their help in facilitating the event. I hope everyone who came had a great time, and that we’re all inspired for Museums at Night weekend (Friday 13th – Sunday 15th May!)

A glamorous couple descending a wood-panelled staircase

Nick and I ready to welcome visitors to our lovely Palace. Sorry, THE lovely Palace.

All the photos in this post are courtesy of Charlotte Macpherson, who can be contacted on photos@charlottemacpherson.co.uk.

One response to “Lauren Laverne launches Museums at Night at the Enchanted Palace

  1. Pingback: Number 11 Downing Street celebrates Museums at Night | Museums at Night Blog

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