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Time: 16:21 23 May 2011

Not long left to see royal treasures at the V&A

4th July 2013

Since March, the Victoria and Albert Museum has been home to Treasures of the Royal Courts - a major exhibition that draws together exquisite artefacts from across five centuries of diplomatic exchange between Britain and Russia.

Unfortunately, this critically acclaimed show is scheduled to wrap up on July 14th - so those staying at luxury London hotels this month don't have long left to plan a last-minute visit.

Treasures of the Royal Court comprises more than 150 objects, including jewellery, ceremonial suits of armour, royal portraits and other highly feted items. Some of these were given as gifts from Britain to Russia or vice versa; others were simply used by the two world powers to impress one another's diplomatic envoys.

Among the treasures exhibition-goers will be able to see are the rarely-seen Hampden portrait of Elizabeth I, an intimidating suit of armour made for Henry VIII and an exquisite silver service given by the British royal family to the tsars.

Fans of literature, meanwhile, can gaze upon a priceless copy of Shakespeare's first folio - the book in which his 36 plays were published for the first time.

In cooperation with the Moscow Kremlin Museums, the V&A has also produced a special film on an English coach that has resided in Russia since the 17th century. Given by James I's ambassador Thomas Smith to Tsar Boris Godunov in 1604, the coach is astonishingly well preserved and a fantastic example of the ostentatious gift-giving that characterised the countries' historic relationship.

Tickets cost £9 for adults and a concessionary rate of £6 is available for children and students. Demand remains strong, so would-be attendees should consider booking their places before heading to the museum.

The V&A is located close to Hyde Park, so getting to the exhibition should be fairly straightforward. Those travelling via the London Underground should head towards the South Kensington tube stop on the Circle, District and Piccadilly lines.


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