The Royal Pavilion and Brighton Pier
Our 2+ hour train trip from Canterbury to Brighton was well worth the time. The Royal Pavilion, the seaside Palace of King George IV, King William IV, and Queen Victoria was extraordinary. Photography was prohibited, but it would have been impossible to capture the essence of its grand oriental design and furnishings. The evolution of the Pavilion from 1787 to the early 1820s reflects the changing status of George from Prince of Wales to Prince Regent, to King George IV.
We gazed in awe at the magnificent furnishings, richly decorated walls, and elaborate chandeliers. Each room seemed more lavish than the one before. The copper cookware collection consisted of over 500 utensils and was truly worthy of the “King’s Kitchen”.
Although the Pavilion had been a consuming passion of King George IV, Queen Victoria decided to sell the Pavilion in the late 1840s. It was purchased by the town of Brighton in 1850 and required extensive restoration and refurbishment. Queen Mary, the Queen Mother, took an interest in the Pavilion and returned many of the items that had been stripped during Queen Victoria’s reign. In the 1950s, Queen Elizabeth II returned, on loan, a substantial collection of original items. The Brighton and Hove City Council and an extensive list of benefactors are constantly working to preserve this great treasure for future generations.
Our main reason for visiting Brighton was the Royal Pavilion, but we couldn’t leave without strolling on Brighton Pier. The Pier and Arcade are a trip back to the 50’s. It was much too cold for a dip in the sea, but we still witnessed several hearty souls sitting on the pebble beach. A quick stop at the Market Inn pub for a brief lunch and it was time to catch the train back to Canterbury.