Buckingham Palace is celebrating the 200th anniversary of Queen Victoria's birth with a special exhibition dedicated to Queen Elizabeth’s great-great-grandmother.
Ahead of its public opening, the Queen was given a special preview. But as she explored her family history, there was one tradition the Queen reportedly said she was glad had died out.
One of the major exhibits on show to the public is a holographic recreation of an 1856 ball, which was held to celebrate the end of the Crimean War and those who had fought in it.
Recreated by an American company called Practical Magic, a technique called Pepper’s Ghost was used to bring a number of dancers to life.
Dr Amanda Foreman, a curator of the exhibit, told ITV that the Queen was “totally engrossed” as she watched a complex 19th century dance called a quadrille. Following the clip, Queen Elizabeth reportedly quipped, “Thank God, we don’t have to do that nowadays.”
According to Foreman, the spectacle depicts the “first quadrille that was danced at the first ball when the ballroom was opened” and is interwoven with narratives. She said, “There’s one couple who fall in love over the course of the two and a half minutes of dancing, there’s a woman and it’s her very first time at a ball so she’s learning – so I told her that story and she stayed to watch it.”
While the quadrille might not be Queen Elizabeth’s cup of tea, she is known to be a fan of another dance: the Scottish Eightsome Reel.
In fact, the Queen loves the dance so much that she actually named one of her racing horses after it. Eightsome Reel raced recently at Ascot.
The official royal website revealed, “A lesser known interest is Scottish country dancing. Each year during her stay at Balmoral Castle, The Queen gives dances known as Ghillies' Balls, for neighbours, estate and Castle staff and members of the local community.”
Footage of the Queen dancing in the 90s at one of her Ghillies' Balls has since surfaced and in it, the monarch can be seen spinning around the floor expertly. Hello claimed that the video was narrated by the Queen and she said in it, “If you live in this sort of life which people don't very much, you live very much by tradition and by continuity. I think that's one of the sad things that people don't take on jobs for life, they try different things all of the time.”