Not all masked balls turn into Bacchanalian orgies but that doesn't mean you can't still have plenty of fun. Last Friday, Kensington Palace hosted their second annual Wild Boy's Ball, named in honour of a foundling discovered in 1725 brought to the Palace where King George I held court. Originally from Germany, “Peter” amused the monarch and bemused the staff with his unconventional hair, bedroom antics and his strange choice of clothing. These days, the palace is used on an unofficial basis by Prince Harry.
Avoiding the static nature of most indoor balls, this one made great use of the gardens, the catering facilities of the Orangery and the Palace itself. Guests could wander around the lake under the arches which had been decorated as part of Emma Molony's artwork commissioned for July's inTRANSIT festival: over a thousand hand-written secrets in six different categories were placed within red transparent spheres which hung overhead.
On the terrace, the duo behind the Gaiety Engine provided rich entertainment with their Victorian vaudeville and superb slapstick. Moustachioed mermaids, fake fakirs and Attila the dwarf albino tiger were some of the characters brought to life in a show which was reminiscent of Monty Python plus pathos minus irony.
Those with time to spare before the dancing started could seek out the Palace Gossips who were more than happy to swap rumours. Our lips are sealed but, apparently, ladies with high morals and long memories should avoid the front lawn first thing in the morning.
The museum element of the Palace itself was open and guests were encouraged to explore it. Amidst the gothic scenery, antique furniture and the plethora of princesses' dresses (including some which belonged to Margaret and Diana), there are holograms and puzzles. As an added feature, guests could go all Blue Peter and create their own paper roses and lanterns.
Finally, the ball kicked off in style with Lady Winnie of The Last Tuesday Society (the Mare Street organisation famed for their own masked balls) orchestrating foxtrots, waltzes and whatnot on the terrace and lawns.
Overall, this was an unusual and fun evening which felt a little like a "late" night at a museum but with heaps better eye candy and tomfoolery. We'll be back next year.
All photos (c) Historic Royal Palaces
Tickets for The Last Tuesday Society's September ball are already on sale.
White Mischief know a thing or two about creating fun costume parties merging high-quality cabaret, interactive theatre and wackiest of wacky costumes. Their next event will be their Hallowe'en special; last year's which we enjoyed last year.
If you want some cheap late night culture treats around the capital, we urge you to check out the London Lates website.
Access to the event was granted by Historical Royal Palaces.