During our previous London interlude, while taking an escalator in the Underground, we noticed an advertising poster for the Royal Philharmonic ‘Classical Spectacular’ at Royal Albert Hall. The program included British sing-along, flag-waving favourites ‘Land of Hope and Glory’ and ‘Rule Britannia’ as well as other classical gems. The performance date happened to be just two days before our next trip to Paris, and we also wanted to see a photography exhibit at the Victoria & Albert Museum, ‘Queen Elizabeth II by Cecil Beaton, a Diamond Jubliee Celebration’.
We loved the Philharmonic program, with my favourites being — in addition to the above-mentioned pieces — a rousing ‘Stars and Stripes Forever’, which brought tears to my eyes, and the tenor Jesus Leon singing Nessun Dorma (twice, thanks to an enthusiastic request for an encore).
The V&A photography exhibit, a collection of intimate family portraits, provides a wonderful glimpse into the Queen as a young woman and mother. It’s an excellent complement to the exhibit we saw last month at Windsor Castle, ‘The Queen: 60 Photographs for 60 Years’. We also enjoyed viewing the V&A collection of painting and sketches by Suffolk artist John Constable.
Afterwards, coffee (of course!), in the sunlit museum garden.
As so often happens when we make the effort to take advantage of these kinds of activities, we’re reminded of how much this great city has to offer and how much more we hope to do here in the future.
Cheers for now and more soon from Paris.