May 5, 2012

0195 UNITED KINGDOM (England) - The Royal Pavilion in Brighton

The Royal Pavilion is a former royal residence located in Brighton, a fishing village from the south coast of Great Britain, which became almost overnight a health resort in the late of 18th century. Advised by his physician to advantage of the benefits of seawater, the Prince of Wales, who later became the extravagant King George IV, move the pavilion from the Royal Court in London to Brighton in 1786, transforming it into a discreet location where to enjoy the liaisons with his mistress, Maria Fitzherbert.

A year later, Henry Holland enlarged the building, which became one wing of the Marine Pavilion, fitted out in Holland's French-influenced neoclassical style, with decorative paintings by Biagio Rebecca. In 1801-1802 the Pavilion was enlarged again, after a design of Peter Frederick Robinson, and in 1803-1804 a grand riding school and stables were built in an Indian style by William Porden. Between 1815 and 1822, John Nash (who later will design  Buckingham Palace) redesigned and greatly extended the Pavilion, transforming it from a modest villa into the magnificent oriental palace that we see today.

Its Indo-Saracenic architecture, with its elaborated exotism, onion domes, pinnacles, minarets, pointed arches and harem windows, suggests India or Malaya, and the fanciful interior design is heavily influenced by both Chinese and Indian fashion. After the death of George IV in 1830, his successor King William IV (r. 1830-1837) also stayed in the Pavilion, but Queen Victoria disliked Brighton, so the Government sold the building to the town, which used it as assembly rooms.

Many of the Pavilion's original fixtures and fittings were removed at the time of the sale, most ending up in Buckingham Palace or Windsor Castle, but Queen Victoria, and later George V and Queen Mary, returned to Brighton large quantities of fittings, and Queen Elizabeth II has loaned a lot of the original furniture and objects. Since the WWII, the municipality of Brighton restoring the Pavilion to its state at the time of King George IV.

About the stamp
The stamp is a Royal Mail 1st Class stamp, part of the definitive series about which I wrote here.

The postmark is very special one, Diamond Jubilee Machin, postmarked at the Jubilee Mail Centre: KT GU TW / JUBILEE CFC4 31 January 2012 (Kingston-upon-Thames, GUildford, and TWickenham postcode areas, Jubilee Mail Centre, Culler-Facer-Canceller #4). The Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II is the international celebration throughout 2012 marking the 60th anniversary of the accession of Queen Elizabeth II to the thrones. Queen Elizabeth II is the second monarch in the histories of the United Kingdom to have celebrated a Diamond Jubilee, after Queen Victoria (1897).

Royal Pavilion - Wikipedia

Sender: George Dragoman
Sent from London (United Kingdom), on 31.01.2012

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