Violets – early springtime flowers.
Text and photo: Laila Durán.
Winter has been dreadfully long this year. For a moment I was in despair believing that the Gulf Stream turned its direction and that we were approaching a new ice age. But finally one day sun broke through and like a sign of springtime there was an invitation in the letterbox for the opening of a flower exhibition at Drottningholm palace. Violets would be on show in the beautiful déjuner lounge and H M Queen Silvia was supposed to inaugurate the exhibition.
It was not a spring like weather on the opening day when Heidi Fossnes, editor of the Norwegian magazine BUNAD, and I were tripping along between the water puddles in our new spring shoes on our way to the palace. But well inside we were welcomed by an overwhelming sight of thousands of violets in every nuance. There were violets in all the colours of the rainbow placed in pots along the tall windows, and historic costumes from the theatre wardrobe were placed out as decoration. The afternoon sun shined through and the view of the park created a dramatic silhouette against the red sky.
Suddenly there was silence. All attention was directed to the entrance and H M Queen Silvia made her entry. Cheerfully smiling and apparently delighted by the abundance of flowers she walked round the exhibition and held an elegant speech about the Violet – the hardy beauty. As you can see I had the camera with me. It is not every day you have the opportunity to meet the queen of Sweden. I curtseyed to her as deep as I dared and presented a small gift. To my delight the queen was very interested in what I told her and made several questions. Our reproduction of fabrics originating in Swedish folk costumes caught her interest and she was pleased to hear that the guides of the theatre this year will wear historic costumes made from these fabrics.
Today finally is the first sunny spring day with degrees over minus. In the letterbox there are flower catalogues and pouches with flower seeds. I just can not wait to get out digging in the garden. I made a small start on the window ledge with a box full of, of course – violets.
H M Queen Silvia cuts the silk ribbon and declares the exhibition VIOLETS open. The queen held an elegant speech about the hardy beauty.
Laila Durán in conversation with Queen Silvia. The Queen showed interest in our reconstruction of designs and asked about the origin and use of the fabrics. As a sample of the design KULLA, originating from Dalecarlia, the Queen was given a handbag – Smålandsväska.
Editor Heidi Fossnes from the BUNAD magazine had traveled all the way from Norway to see the exhibition.
Queen Silvia looks with delight at the most tiny violets. The exhibition was arranged in the déjuner lounge at Drottningholm palace theatre.
Two charming assistants helped the Queen to cut the ribbon at the inauguration.
Editor Heidi Fossnes inspects an old herbarium and historic costumes from the theatre wardrobe.
The Queen together with garden master Gunnar Kaj, responsible for the exhibition.
Landscape architect Paulina Landin and gardener Katarina Nordlander made the beautiful flower installations.
Laila Durán had the opportunity to tell the Queen about the new costumes for the guides at the Drottningholm palace theatre, made for this summer season in fabrics from Durán Textiles