“You can’t have six palaces in Westminster” – “Yes you can”

Ladies and Gentlemen, Step this way for Westminster Palace – the first of the six palaces in Westminster that Charlie shows us round on his One Westminster, Six Palaces Virtual Tour.

The clip opens with Charlie setting the scene for the whole tour. He maps out the locations of the six palaces. That’s followed by a very detailed tour of the Palace of Westminster throughout the ages. Not just showing us what is there and was there but explaining why it took root there, the significance of the different stages of its development over the centuries.

Pretty special in its own right – fascinating subject matter, great images, etc. But what makes it doubly so is that Charlie has mastered the “instrument” he makes his “music” with, he takes full advantage of the possibilities the medium affords him. He hasn’t just dug out a lot of great old visuals and strung them along the line of his narrative, he lights them up from within, turns stills into “moving parts” as it were. It’s a very rewarding hour.

And as for this divertimento’s “measures”, well, phrases like “1,000 years of history in one hour” and “the relationship effectively is still there to be seen” and “what you can see here is the river mounting up around the current palace” and “hidden in plain sight” and “Henry VIII had so many [homes] people have lost count, over 40 maybe – our present Queen has four” and “the river might have looked something like this” and “you can see at least something of all but one of the palaces I’m talking about” – music to my ears, all of it.

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