Prince George IV stared at the residence, totally astonished. Not the princely type of accommodation he had in mind. However, there was room for improvement. And the surroundings were formidable.
The residence was a simple and small lodging house with few outdated furniture, located within walking distance of the seaside. For George, this proximity to the sea was of vital importance; his health depended on the sea water and air. And Brighton was an ideal location, with its superb climate, only two hours away from London.
George felt lucky in that respect. However, the residence was not to his taste. George was a man who loved beauty. Beauty in the arts and in good living. He accepted to settle down and use the small lodging house as his permanent residence on condition that he would do whatever was necessary to ameliorate it. But first he had to look after his health. And so he did.
In the mornings, he would take his full English breakfast in the veranda, enjoying the view of the sea. Then he would start his therapeutic treatments. Halfway through the day, when the weather was at its hottest, he would do “dippings” in the sea. In the evenings, he would take his dinner in the small dining room and at the same time make plans on how to better the small lodging house. Finally, he would collapse in bed, exhausted from the day’s full schedule.
Of course, he soon realized he couldn’t complete this enterprise all by himself. He needed professional guidance and assistance. Therefore, he asked for the services of the architect Henry Holland. Together, they made detailed and organized plans on how to better improve, enlarge and decorate the residence. Henry Holland had excellent ideas which matched George’s love for an extravagant lifestyle. The outdated residence was soon transformed into a wonderful building in the neoclassical style. The result was beyond George’s expectations. He was elated. But this happiness wouldn’t last long.
George started to see the potential of the residence. Soon he would ask for more; more luxury, more space, and above all, more pleasures. Now London and its strict protocols seemed too far away. A new life was in store for him. He couldn’t wait to live it.
John browsed through the travel guide. He had read somewhere that the Brighton Pavilion was a must-see. “No doubt about it,” he thought to himself as he entered the former royal residence.
John loved Brighton. It reminded him of his country, Greece, a country with great history. John wasn’t a tourist, though. He would study Linguistics at the University of Brighton, so he would have few chances to see the sights, once the course started. The day was wonderful, so John thought some sightseeing was appropriate. He grabbed the tourist guide and there he was, inside the Royal Pavilion.
John loved and respected history. He came from a country with great history and past and had learned to appreciate it. “To remain ignorant of history is to remain forever a child,” his teacher used to quote Cicero’s famous quotation. John was curious and wanted to tie loose ends in order to have the complete picture of the Pavilion’s history.
His imagination ran wild as he moved from room to room. He thought of luxuries and prosperity when the Pavilion was at its height. “I wish I were a prince,” thought John and smiled. “Then life would be easier, I wouldn’t have to study and I wouldn’t have to work,”. He looked at the walls, at the ceilings. “Witnesses of the past, tell me what you have seen,” he thought to himself. Of course John didn’t expect an answer. He only wished he had a time machine that would enable him to travel back in time and see what the Pavilion was like back in the 1780s. He was so curious, that he opened the tourist guide. His eyes scanned the pictures of the Pavilion, both inside and outside, and the reconstructions of the rooms. It all looked magnificent.
He was in the salon when, all of a sudden, he thought he heard whispers. He turned around, only to see that he was all alone in the room. But the whispers became voices, voices chatting nonchalantly. He looked around him. Suddenly the salon was full of people, some laughing, and others dancing to the music of a small chamber orchestra. Everybody was happy, carefree, enjoying the wonderful atmosphere of the Pavilion. And somewhere in the crowd he saw Prince George. He was healthy and happy, satisfied with his accomplishments, making plans to make the Pavilion the most beautiful residence in England. As soon as Prince George saw him, he greeted him with a warm smile. He welcomed him with open arms and was willing to show him around. John was flabbergasted. It was awesome! He wanted to mingle with the people and chat away. He wanted to dance and laugh, he wanted to spend the rest of his life there, in the affluence of the Pavilion. He was sure Prince George wouldn’t mind. He seemed so friendly and hospitable, so outgoing and extroverted. John was in seventh heaven and wanted it to last for ever.
- Sir, sir can you hear me?
A voice woke John up. “Oh God, I must have been daydreaming,” he thought to himself. He felt his face blush.
- Sorry, I was lost in thoughts.
- Sir, we’re closing in five minutes.
- Thank you.
John left the Pavilion in amazement. He had to return to his apartment and prepare for the next day. It was Orientation Day at the University, so he had a lot to do and learn. A new place, and new people were waiting for him. A new academic year was ahead.
But the visit to the Pavilion would certainly remain an unforgettable experience. A travel back in time, where history was actually happening. John felt lucky for having had the chance to be there and to experience it all.