Today we were privileged to have a visit from the Prince of Wales. He came to see the beginning of emergency building repair work. Emma, our Curator, led the Prince of Wales around the show rooms after meeting Siobhan (Conservator) and Lucy in the Hall. Siobhan demonstrated how we carry out condition reports on paintings and Lucy explained how handling objects can cause deterioration by showing the Prince of Wales our handling frames.
The Prince of Wales was then asked to sign our visitor book.
Today was not the first time a Prince of Wales has visited Knole. The future Edward VII visited in 1898.
Melinda and I were working in the Reynolds Room treating an object for common furniture beetle infestation and vacuüm cleaning the upholstery on one of the chairs. We spent about 5 minutes talking to the Prince about how we did this and showed him some of the dust we had cleaned from another chair and our examples of woodworm found from around the house.
Sarah was the ‘runner’, making sure all the show rooms were ready with blinds up and doors unlocked. Having someone ‘behind the scenes’ is crucial to making sure all the hard work pays off and the everything goes as planned.
He was really interested in our work and our conservation project. He spent about an hour and half he in total before taking off in his helicopter to his next appointment.The visit took more than a week to plan, and the Conservation Team had a prompt start this morning to get 2 days cleaning completed in 1 morning to make sure the show rooms were looking their best.
We hope the Prince of Wales will be able to make another visit when the project is really under-way.
Emily, Sarah, Lucy and Melinda