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The Royal Pavilion

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"The Royal Pavilion, Brighton, reflects fashionable tastes in architecture, design, attitudes and way of life." - Do you agree with this hypothesis? The Royal Pavilion, Brighton, has been an important part of the city that tourists regularly come to see. It was built in several different stages by a few different architects between the years of 1787 and 1823. It was built for the Prince Regent, who became King George IV on the 19th July 1821 at the age of fifty nine. The Royal Pavilion has become the most famous landmark in Brighton and many come to see this extraordinary building. It can tell us a great deal about what sort of a person the Prince Regent was, from just looking at it, we can understand that the Prince was a rather whacky and eccentric man. Also, the Royal pavilion highlights some of the fashionable movements of the time and also about peoples' knowledge of technology in the nineteenth century. At the time that it was built, the Royal Pavilion wasn't considered fashionable, but rather strange and unusual. Although the Pavilion in previous stages reflected fashionable tastes and movements, it is more of a building that was constructed and designed to suit the Prince Regent and his exuberant ways. It does not reflect ways of life - certainly not for the poor - but more of fashionable movements which toyed with lifestyles, such as Romanticism. Many people ridiculed it because it, just as it does today, contrasted with the rest of the setting. Brighthelmstone was just a modest fishing town; it was highly unexpected that something like the Pavilion would be constructed there. The Prince regent - born George Augustus Frederick, on the 12th August 1762 - was the first of King George III's fifteen children. From a very young age, the Prince had great responsibilities when at five days old he was made the Prince of Wales. ...read more.


Books such as Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley, reflected Romanticism because it dealt with the supernatural. Many books published during the Romantic era were Gothic romances. Many people, such as cartoonists of the time, believed that the Prince went over the top with the idea of Romanticism and mocked him. For example, in the painting Love's Last Shift, the Prince is portrayed as desperately trying to live the idyllic lifestyle of simplicity in the farmhouse by eating such things as oysters and potatoes (part of a peasant's staple diet) and he also had his servants there in the one bedroom farmhouse. This makes people doubt whether the Prince could have actually lived like this. In 1787, just one year after he had moved into the farmhouse, the Prince Regent started to have the house enlarged and improved. The main reason he decided to do this was because the government and parliament claimed that it was outrageous for the future king of the country to live in such conditions. They decided to pay off all his debts; on the one condition that e married Caroline of Brunswick - whom he hated. Also, at this point his father had his first attack of insanity and was declared unfit to rule, so Prince Regent took over. With the money from his lifted debts and new status as ruler of the country, the Prince decided to completely renovate his modest farmhouse. He, at the time, was friendly with Louis Philippe II, the Duc d'Orleans, who also shared the Prince's appreciation for Brighthelmstone. The Prince was introduced to Parisian things like underclothing, fancy paper and scent which fascinated him. Due to his new interest in French style, the Prince had Henry Holland make plans for a French neo-classical building. The design was similar to one in Volume VI of Neufforge's Receuil Elementaire d'Architecture. One of the most famous and influential neo-classical buildings of the time was the Hotel de Salm which was in Paris built by Pierre Rousseau in 1786. ...read more.


On the whole, the Royal Pavilion is mostly a very personal building that was constructed according to the Prince Regent and his weird but wonderful ways. In my opinion, I would disagree that it portrayed fashionable architectural tastes of the time, despite the way that it fits in well with Romanticism, the fact that there is only one other building in England that is alike to the Pavilion exterior-wise, suggests that it was not very popular in its day. Furthermore, the excessive use of Chinoiserie was another key point as to why it does not reflect popular tastes in design because it is known that that style was 'out of date' by the time the Prince decided to fill his palace with it. The modern technologies used were described as 'ahead of their time' and most people then would not have ever used such things as water closets but rather would have urinated in the fire place like everybody else would have done. The toilet in particular made the Prince seem poncy and slightly strange to other men. The Pavilion does not show us what the poor lived like in the eighteenth and nineteenth century, but this is logical because the Prince was a member of the Royal family, so it is normal that he would not associate with peasants, especially not in those times. The Pavilion does not really tell us much about the lifestyles of the rich either, except that they enjoyed large banquets and expensive pleasures, it chiefly tells us about the Prince Regent as an individual. In previous stages, such as the farmhouse and the Marine Pavilion, the building did reflect certain fashionable tastes like Romanticism and neo-classical architecture. In both of these states, it may have been more acceptable and blended in more with its surroundings. However, if the Royal Pavilion was not developed to how it is now, maybe Brighton would not be the same, for it is after all one of the main reasons why Brighton is the buzzing, popular seaside town that it is today. ?? ?? ?? ?? Francesca Ellen Wickens - 10MW ...read more.

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