The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House


Collection Blog

By Young People, For Young People: Royal Wonders @ the Wallace Event

On Friday 24 January the Wallace Collection welcomed nearly 70 young people through its doors for a Royalty themed, after-hours, jam-packed evening, complete with creative events, entertainment and delicious food.

Lots of hard work and creativity goes into holding events at the Wallace Collection and this extravaganza was no exception. An added but exciting challenge was that this event was very much a ‘first’ – the Wallace Collection has never before put on an evening event for young people aged 16-24, which was not exclusively for University students. We knew that we were going to need lots of help. Who better to take up the challenge than the Geffrye Museum’s Youth Advisory Panel?

The members of the Geffrye Museum’s Youth Advisory Panel (affectionately known as ‘the YAP’) are all aged between 14 and 24, all passionate about planning events and making museums and their programmes more youth-friendly

Brimming full of ideas and with lots of experience of putting on events at the Geffrye Museum, the YAP eagerly set upon the challenge of taking over the Wallace Collection for one special evening.

Ladies and gentlemen, you are cordially invited for a ‘backstage’ look at how Royal Wonders @ the Wallace was put together and exclusive coverage of the event itself!

Road to Royalty – Putting on the Event

Back in August 2013, the YAP toured the Wallace Collection’s galleries and behind the scenes areas with museum staff. They enjoyed learning about the Collection, brainstorming ideas for the all-important theme and workshops, and, of course, had lots of fun along the way.


A YAP member meets the charming Laughing Cavalier © The Geffrye Museum

A YAP member meets the charming Laughing Cavalier © The Geffrye Museum


Though the Wallace Collection was ‘very different to the Geffrye Museum’ and ‘like a palace,’ YAP members were struck by ‘the royal vibe’ of the Wallace Collection. Sean from the YAP thought the museum was simply ‘amazing.’

Eager to hear from other young people and experience an evening event at the Wallace Collection themselves, 13 members of the YAP attended the University Student Night in November 2013 to take part in the events and collected feedback from attendees.

The YAP quickly decided on a theme of ‘Royalty’ and felt it was really important to give other young people a right Royal welcome to the Wallace Collection at their event.

Over the next six months, Wallace Collection Education and Marketing staff worked with the YAP and Geffrye Museum staff to plan every detail of the event. Lots of intensive discussion and voting on everything from workshop ideas, names and locations, the marketing flyer design, to food and the music playlist, followed.

YAP members Michael and Sunny really enjoyed the process of ‘working in a team’ and ‘choosing the name for each workshop.’ Orlane felt ‘it was interesting knowing different points of view.’

The Big Day is Here!

Despite the rain showers, nearly 70 young people travelled from across London to experience the Royal Wonders @ the Wallace for themselves. On hand to help were 17 YAP members who expertly helped young people explore the Wallace Collection and assisted in running the activities throughout the night.
Here are some of the highlights of Royal Wonders @ the Wallace…

The Royal Treatment Pop-Up Photo Booth

With the help of YAP members, Celia and Emily from We Are Photogirls transformed the Front State Room and the grand Balustrade into a pop-up photography studio.



Dressing up in the Front State Room


Friends had a great time styling each other in vintage costumes and armour, accessorising with props and adding a touch of make-up to complete their ‘look.’

Once ready for their close ups, the participants struck a pose and were photographed in their regal get-up.  Here are some of our favourites!


© By kind permission of the Trustees of The Wallace Collection / Geffrye Museum / We Are Photogirls

© By kind permission of the Trustees of The Wallace Collection / Geffrye Museum / We Are Photogirls


Eileen from the YAP loved ‘the dressing up because it was fun and nice to see everyone enjoying themselves’ and Leah thought that the ‘dresses were amazing.’

To see more glitz and glamour from ‘The Royal Treatment,’ visit the We Are Photogirls Flickr stream.

Majestic Masquerade

Come one, come all and join the majestic masquerade!


Young people making and decorating their masquerade masks in the Back State Room.

Young people making and decorating their masquerade masks in the Back State Room.


A participant said she ‘has an amazing evening mask making especially as there were different decorations for the masks in different rooms.’ YAP member Sunny loved making his mask and ‘went wild with the flower decorations!’

Reigning Ceramics workshop


YAP members decorating mini-plates at the ‘Reigning Ceramics’ workshop

YAP members decorating mini-plates at the ‘Reigning Ceramics’ workshop


In an event inspired by our lavish Sèvres porcelain, participants really enjoyed painting their own designs onto a mini ceramic plate, vase or rice spoon. YAP member Orlane liked that she ‘was able to be in control of the design.’
Colourful and creative designs were painted that may have even caught the eye of King Louis and Madame de Pompadour back in the eighteenth-century!


Regal Portraits workshop

The YAP invited illustrator Anna Saunders to transform the attendees into Royals by giving them a new royal body and drawing a caricature of their faces!


IIllustrator Anna Saunders transforms an attendee into the Duchess of Cambridge.

IIllustrator Anna Saunders transforms a guest into the Duchess of Cambridge.


This was a highlight for a lot of attendees and one person said it was lovely being drawn by Anna – ‘she did an amazing job.’

All of this was enough to work up a good appetite!


Attendees enjoyed delicious nibbles and Royal-themed ‘mocktail’ drinks at Aristocratic  Affairs.

Attendees enjoyed delicious nibbles and Royal-themed ‘mocktail’ drinks at Aristocratic Affairs.


This was a great opportunity for everyone to chat and it was brilliant to meet Youth Panel members from the Royal Academy, the National Portrait Gallery and the Horniman Museum!

YAP member Tidi ‘got to talk to the participants and get to know them’ and Michael turned DJ by ‘choosing the music for people when eating.’

Here’s what the young people had to say…
‘The Wallace Collection is amazing. I am glad I went and I would love to go again.’
The event was an ‘amazing way to attract young people. Thrilling. 10/10.’
‘If I’d have known that it would have been so enjoyable then I would have invited all of my friends’ (said by an attendee to YAP member Sean).
YAP member Holly ‘enjoyed seeing what we {the YAP] had planned come to life’ and she ‘can’t wait to do something like this again!’
To find out more about the Geffrye Museum’s Youth Advisory Panel, please visit this link.

Click here more information on special events or events for young people at the Wallace Collection

Stay tuned for more evening events to tie in with the opening of the Great Gallery coming to you soon – watch this space!

This special event is part of the Piloting Participation Project, a two year project which is generously supported by Arts Council England, and co-ordinated by the Geffrye Museum.

Untitled-1Blog by Sarah Elder, Wallace Collection Education Department, and Eileen, Holly, Leah, Michael, Orlane, Sean, Sunny and Tidi from the Geffrye Museum Youth Advisory Panel.

Comments are closed.