Carpets fit for a Queen

Brintons archive helps transform Queen Victoria's rooms at Kensington Palace

Childhood home of Queen Victoria and home to young royals for over 300 years, Kensington Palace is now a building of two halves, with the parts open to the public cared for by Historic Royal Palaces, an independent charity.

On 24th May 1819 at Kensington Palace, Queen Victoria was born. On 24th May 2019, her 200th birthday, the home of her youth re-opened to visitors after a major makeover in the form of a new semi-permanent display called ‘Victoria: A Royal Childhood.’ As part of the work to recreate the rooms where Victoria grew up, Historic Royal Palaces curators carried out extensive research into the decorative schemes she would have known as a little girl.

We were excited to work with the curators at Historic Royal Places, to create custom period carpets for the rooms where Victoria was born and raised at Kensington Palace.

It started with a trip to our archive, which holds patterns from as early as 1790, the curators worked with Brintons archivist Yvonne Smith to select original hand painted designs. Historic Royal Palaces required designs that were authentic to the period when Victoria would have lived in the Palace and so Brintons was an obvious choice for this very special project. The carpets chosen were from the Georgian period and Brintons designer Kay Jones subsequently worked on a detailed specification to prepare the designs for manufacture.

We are proud to own one of the world's largest commercial design archives and historical pattern libraries in the industry, restored and preserved by our Archive Manager Yvonne Smith. The archive library is a facility unique to Brintons and is an invaluable resource to designers, conservators, decorators and contractors worldwide.

Image top right, Yvonne Smith, Brintons Archive Manager at Kensington Palace with the original design papers

Image centre: Kay Jones, Brintons Creative Designer

Image bottom left: Design from Brintons archive shown with the finished carpet

Image bottom right: One of Victoria's rooms at Kensington Palace

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